Bad Vision: Certain newly diagnosed medical conditions can result in a deterioration of your eyesight and it will be important that you are aware of this and can adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Pregnancy & Menopause
Hormonal changes, such as those experienced in pregnancy and menopause, can have an effect on eyesight, changing the shape and curve of the cornea.
Diabetes, Blood Sugar Levels & Eyesight
Another disease that can have a deleterious effect on eyesight, particularly if the patient finds it hard to manage, is diabetes. This condition changes the blood sugar levels in the body. It is important to control these as much as possible because otherwise, a blurring of vision can occur – which may improve or deteriorate as blood sugar levels alter. In addition, the most severe eye condition diabetics can suffer is diabetic retinopathy – which means the blood vessels supplying the retina are affected. Diabetic sufferers can also get cataracts in the longer term when vision is weaker due to a ‘cloudiness’ of the eye lens.
If you are a diabetic and a smoker you may accelerate the progression of these symptoms.
Certain aspects of heart disease can also affect eyesight. If high blood pressure – or hypertension – remains undiagnosed and untreated it can have a very negative effect on eyesight. It can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, known as hypertensive retinopathy. This condition requires treatment to prevent the eyesight from deteriorating further.
On some occasions, hypertension will be diagnosed by an optician, who discovers the damage that has been done to blood vessels during an eye test.
Migraine sufferers often report vision disturbances prior to the onset or during an attack of this debilitating headache. Seeing light flashes, a halo ‘aura’ can allow the sufferer to predict a forthcoming migraine and take the appropriate medication and rest.
Multiple sclerosis can also affect the optic nerve, making it more susceptible to inflammation. This can cause pain by touching the eyelid or moving the eye from side to side.
Don’t forget that certain drugs used for treating any of these medical conditions can also affect eyesight, although the alleviation of overall symptoms may be the main relief. These include pills for high blood pressure, antihistamines for hay fever and allergies, and anti-malarial drugs.
If you have a medical condition or believe that prescription drugs may be affecting your eyesight, it is important to discuss this with your doctor, ophthalmologist, or optician and of course have regular eye tests.