Studies suggest that the prevalence of eye diseases and vision impairment is higher among persons with end-stage kidney disease and earlier chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages than those without kidney disease. According to the National Kidney Foundation, common eye problems for people with kidney disease or who are on dialysis are dry, red, sore eyes, retinopathy, and Glaucoma.
Research shows that greater severity of retinopathy is associated with a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) after adjustment for traditional and non-traditional risk factors. Vascular abnormalities usually associated with hypertension were also associated with lower eGFR.
Extra calcium and phosphate can settle in the eyes and irritate them. The cornea, conjunctiva, and sclera can be affected. Controlling calcium and phosphate levels in the blood and keeping eyes moist with lubricant eye drops can help.
Dialysis may also cause pressure changes within the eye. When too much pressure builds up in the eye, the optic nerve can become damaged. This damage slows or stops the signals to the brain and can lead to partial or total vision loss. All the problems mentioned here can occur in other health conditions as well. Therefore, a proper check-up must be done to find the underlying cause.
A study was done to find the effect of CKD on the eyes and found few eye pathologies. These eye pathologies included, among others, retinopathy (diabetic or hypertensive), a finding that was observed in 482 (25%) of these 1904 participants. Three percent (65 participants) of the 1904 participants had severe eye conditions that required urgent follow-up and treatment. Lower estimated GFR and cardiovascular disease were associated with more significant eye pathology. Estimated GFR <30 ml/min per 1.73 m2 was associated with three times higher risk for retinopathy.
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