Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
April 18, 2000
Question from Virginia, USA:
I am 18 and have had type 1 diabetes for a year. I've had severe nearsightedness since I was ten, and nearsightedness runs in my family. A month after diagnosis, my ophthalmologist said I had cataracts on both lenses. Five months after that I got severe diabetic cataracts on both lenses for which I had lens replacement surgery. My A1c has been decreasing to 8.3, and I've no diabetic retinopathy. Do I have an increased risk of retinopathy if I had diabetic cataracts within a few months of diagnosis (and considering my young age?
To develop cataracts for someone with type 1 diabetes is related to damage to the lens of the eye by hypo- or hyperglycemic events. This would be a true diabetic cataract.
To develop retinopathy is a result of long term hyperglycemia. If you had already had retinopathy prior to cataract surgery you would be at risk of having a progression in your retinopathy as a result of the surgery not because you had a cataract.
Since your cataract developed in the early stage of diabetes, 6 months after diagnosis, you should have minimal to no increase in risk of retinopathy as a result.