Diabetic Eye Care

Individuals diagnosed with diabetes face a myriad of challenges and health problems, including those that affect the eyes. Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that strictly affect those with diabetes. Furthermore, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. By taking a proactive approach to your eye health - diabetes or not - you have a much better chance of maintaining healthy vision for many years to come. Eye diseases like those mentioned can be difficult to spot, often showing no signs or symptoms before it’s too late. The best way to ensure your vision remains intact as time goes on is to visit your eye doctor on a regular basis.

You can preserve your vision and reduce your chances of developing eye disease by getting a comprehensive dilated exam from your eye doctor at least once a year, more if you are at risk. As with glaucoma and other eye diseases, diabetic eye disease often has no symptoms in its early stages. Dilated eye exams allow your doctor to examine your eye more thoroughly, from the retina to the optic nerve. During this in-depth exam, we will monitor the eye for any damage before you even notice a change in vision. Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes should visit their eye doctor on a regular basis in order to ensure that they can monitor the health of your eyes and begin any necessary treatments right away.

How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Diabetes has the potential to negatively affect your eyes when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. While you are not likely to lose your vision right away when you have high blood sugar, you may experience blurry vision. If your blood sugar remains high over time, it can cause damage to the blood vessels in the back of your eyes, resulting in bleeding, scarring, or dangerously high pressure inside the eye.

Approximately one in three people with diabetes over the age of 40 probably already show some signs of diabetic retinopathy. This is the most common loss of vision in people with diabetes. While glaucoma and cataracts are not as common as diabetic retinopathy, they are twice as likely to develop in someone with diabetes than a person without.

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Managing Diabetes and Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

There are a handful of things you can do to stop eye diseases linked to diabetes from developing. Some of the ways you can do so include:

  • Monitor and manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol
  • ○ This is often referred to as the diabetes ABCs
  • Quit smoking
  • Have a dilated eye exam at least once a year
  • Exercise regularly

Both types of glaucoma can develop over time and require medical attention. If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually lead to blindness. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment with First Eye Care right away. The best way to prevent either form of glaucoma from developing and worsening is to schedule regular eye exams.