Mthandazo Ndlovu . .
ONE of the complications of uncontrolled diabetes is nerve damage, and excessive alcohol consumption or alcohol abuse which can worsen the symptoms.
If diabetic nerve damage develops it can affect both sensory (e.g, sensitivity to touch and temperature) and motor function.
Alcohol abuse causes a condition known as hyperalgesia in which the already damaged nerves become even more sensitive to pain.
In other words, if an individual with diabetes is already suffering from pain due to nerve damage, alcohol abuse can dramatically increase the amount of pain that is felt.
In addition, alcohol abuse leads to a continuous release of certain hormones that are meant to control pain and prevent further damage to the body.
What results, however, is a sustained increase in activity of the nervous system, which will actually further intensify pain signalling.
Therefore, alcohol abuse makes it much harder for the body to control the pain that may have already developed due to diabetic nerve damage and in doing so makes the individual’s condition dramatically worse
An occasional drink may cause temporary double vision or blurry vision, but alcohol abuse can worsen any type of eye disease that has been caused by an individual’s diabetes .
Alcohol slows down brain activity, which causes the pupils to react more slowly and this alters their ability to widen or constrict properly.
Over time, this also permanently weakens the muscles in the eyes. As a result, alcohol abuse can lead to blurred vision or double vision that is permanent, especially in diabetics who may have already had existing vision problems.
Alcohol abuse also causes blood vessels in the eyes to swell and this produces a red, bloodshot appearance.
Rapid eye movement, in which the eyes involuntarily move back and forth, may develop over time as well in the individual abusing alcohol.
If a person with diabetes begins to develop eye problems, the right form of treatment may help slow or prevent further vision loss.
However, individuals with diabetes who also drink excessive amounts of alcohol will experience unchecked deterioration of their vision.
The vision loss that occurs from alcohol abuse is somewhat gradual and for some individuals, alcohol abuse is even linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The effects of alcohol abuse on vision are more prominent in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
This is mainly because type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed during childhood and adolescence, while type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed during adulthood.
Before you drink your alcohol have your self checked if you do not have any conditions of diabetes to save your eyesight.
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