DIABETES High and low blood sugar swings can cause temporary vision changes. High blood sugar levels over long periods of time damage the tiny blood vessels that supply your eyes. This can lead to diabetic retinopathy - a leading cause of blindness in American adults. People who have diabetes should also be aware they are at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma. 2. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE High blood pressure can also cause changes to the retina. This is called hypertensive retinopathy. Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels that supply the eye. If you have high blood pressure, controlling it is vital to your vision. The longer your blood pressure remains high, the greater the risk of permanent vision problems. 3. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES Eye complaints are often the first symptoms many people with autoimmune diseases experience. These symptoms can be bothersome, such as dry, red or itchy eyes. They can also be quite serious, such as light sensitivity, eye pain, vision changes and even loss of vision. 4. ROSACEA More than half of people with rosacea have eye involvement - or ocular rosacea. Symptoms are redness, dryness, itching, burning, tearing, and having a gritty feeling in the eye. Some also have swollen eyelids and sensitivity to light. It can lead to vision impairment and even vision loss if it becomes severe. Effective medical therapies are available. 5. INFECTIOUS DISEASES Eye infections such as pink eye are relatively common. But other types of infections can also affect the eye and eyesight. Measles and lyme disease are two other examples. Shingles can also involve the eye. With ocular shingles the virus causes blisters, swelling and redness around the eye and eyelid and can cause severe inflammation inside the eye. If you have shingles on your face, see an ophthalmologist. 6. LIVER DISEASE When you think about liver disease and the eyes, jaundice probably comes to mind. The yellowing of the eyes and skin are a well known indication that something is wrong with the liver. But there can be other eye problems with liver disease, such as dry, itchy eyes, fatty eyelids, and issues with the cornea and lens of the eye. Be sure to tell your eye doctor your complete medical history when you come in for your yearly exam. INFO: Healthgrades Antone Optical

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