The increased risk of eye-related nerve damage in diabetes

How-to-maintain-healthy-eyes1

For many people they may associate neuropathy with damage to the nerve endings in the arms and legs. But many people may not associate it with damage to the nerve endings in the eyes also.

Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy is the most common eye-related neuropathy (nerve damage or dysfunction) in people aged 50 and over. The medical condition involves loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve from insufficient blood supply, and is associated with sudden, painless loss of vision in one or both eyes. Although the precise cause of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy remains elusive, diabetes is believed to be one of the risk factors. However, this association is controversial.

A recent literature review aimed to define the association between diabetes and nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

Methods & Findings

12 studies were included in the analysis with the number of patients ranging from 82 to 420 in each study.

Compared to non-diabetic individuals, those with diabetes had 64% increased odds of developing nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. An analysis of the results indicated that this figure was statistically significant.

The authors concluded that diabetes significantly increased the risk of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, suggesting that physicians and patients should pay particular attention to visual symptoms.