Diabetes and Cataract

How is the cataract different in diabetes patients?

A cataract is more common in diabetic patients, especially in patients whose diabetes is not controlled, The high blood sugar causes swelling of the lens and subsequently cataract. Cataracts in diabetic patients progress faster if the sugar is not controlled. The type of cataract in diabetes is posterior subcapsular and this causes an early decrease in vision as it is in the center of the visual axis.

Co-existing diseases

Diabetes affects all the tissues in the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is a more serious problem that needs to be addressed urgently. We will check your retina before cataract surgery and advise laser or i/v injection if there is diabetic retinopathy. The retinopathy may progress faster after cataract removal. So we delay the cataract removal as much as possible.

Glaucoma is also more common in diabetic patients. It is a condition in which eye pressure is increased and the optic nerve is damaged. We will control your eye pressure with eye drops before going for the cataract surgery.

Is cataract surgery more challenging in diabetic patients?

We have to dilate the pupil to do the cataract surgery. The pupil becomes rigid and does not dilate well in diabetic patients. So we have to use a viscoelastic injection or other devices to tackle this problem.

There is a minimal amount of inflammation in all eyes post-cataract surgery. This can be slightly more in diabetic patients. We can keep it under control with eye drops. The post-operative anti-inflammatory drops may need to be used for a longer period.

There is a very small risk of infection post-cataract surgery. This is increased if the blood sugars are not under control before and after surgery.

New technologies and techniques have however made cataract surgery very safe even in diabetic patients and the results are very good when adequate care is taken.

Dr. Jagruti Desai ( M.S. Ophthalmology )

Oculus eye hospital
Tel. 9820094152, 9819983158

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