Eyes help us look outwards. They sometimes help us look within, more so in people with diabetes who could additionally be obese, and suffer heart-related ailments.

Most people in the Indian context aren’t much aware of the apparent relation between eyes and diabetes. Science today shows the connection very clearly. So says Dr Ashwini Joshi, Physician & Diabetologist of Pune’s famed Aloha Clinics who in her 20 years of practice has come across her share of such cases.

According to her, every part of our body right from our toes to the top of our head functions as a system that uses oxygen and energy to keep things “alive” as we know it. Every cell in the body needs to be enriched with a constant flow of blood that is rich in oxygen, energy and essential nutrients. This is the ideal situation, though in most cases this is far from the state due to a variety of reasons, be they genetically induced or brought about by excesses of a ‘happening’ lifestyle.

One such problem that she says is being seen increasingly among Indians, and shocking even among those young of age, is ocular complications brought about by diabetes and the presence of high blood sugar.

What do you think diabetes does to our body?

Diabetes, according to the Doctor brings about swellings in the body in many places. This takes place because of the high glucose levels in the blood that damages the lining of the smaller blood vessels impeding blood circulation. In the absence of effective blood circulation, fluids accumulate at various places in the body which without effective drainage form swellings. Such swellings are most visible in extremities including hands, legs, fingers and toes.

What do you think diabetes does to the eyes?

In particular, diabetes and elevated blood-sugar levels affect the eyes in the following forms:

How does one avoid ocular degeneration caused by high blood sugar levels?

With the central reason for ocular degeneration being the existence of elevated blood sugar levels, it’s important to treat the underlying conditions at the earliest. Steps to mitigate the same may include:

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