Diabetes among children is increasing at a high rate due to changing lifestyle and food habits. It gives birth to numerous other diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and eye damage. Children with diabetes have an increased chance of facing eye diseases.
According to a December 2021 research published in JAMA Ophthalmology, children with type 2 diabetes face a high risk of eye problems. The study which was conducted on 525 people of age 22 or less found that the risk of diabetic retinopathy was 88 percent higher in people with type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes. One of the major reasons for this is that during type 2 diabetes the human body builds an insulin resistance mechanism due to which blood sugar levels increase abnormally, thus damaging the blood vessels.
Another study pointed out the reasons for increased cases of type 2 diabetes in kids. The major reason for contracting the disease is an unhealthy lifestyle. Due to the pandemic, children have been confined to the four walls of their homes. They have inculcated a habit of staying indoors and indulging in mobile games. Due to this their body movement has been restricted. They do not play or run which is making their body inactive and creating health problems.
Another reason is increasing obesity cases among children due to consumption of junk foods and snacks. Apart from these factors, genetics also play an important role in having diabetes. If someone in the family earlier had type 2 diabetes, then children are more prone to be diagnosed with the disease.
However, on one side where diabetes can be controlled, its irreversible consequences can’t be controlled. The eye diseases which children may suffer due to increased high blood sugar levels are diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.
Diabetic macular edema is the condition in which the region of the eye called macula gets swollen up due to diabetes. It can lead to partial blindness or if left untreated can result in vision loss. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Diabetic Retinopathy is a disease in which blood vessels get damaged due to high blood sugar levels. The new blood vessels that grow are tender and start to bleed resulting in seeing black spots.
As people age, their eye lenses tend to become cloudy due to which they stop seeing sharp images. However, children with diabetes face this problem from an early age. All these diseases are harmful for the eyes and can lead to permanent blindness.
Therefore, experts suggest that parents must take their children for regular health check-ups. Children with diabetes must get their eyes checked once a year so that if there is any issue it can be detected early and treated on time. Apart from that, parents should promote healthy habits in them. It would help prevent diseases like diabetes.