How can having diabetes affect your eyes?

Patient pricking his hand for glucosmeterPatients who have diabetes need to keep their blood sugars in check in order to avoid damage to their organs, and this includes damage to the eyes and vision loss. Here is what you should know about diabetic eye disease and what you can do to prevent or reduce the effects on your eyes.

  • Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that affect people who have diabetes. This includes diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and glaucoma. Studies show that people who have diabetes are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop an eye disease such as glaucoma or cataracts.
  • If you have diabetes and aren’t managing the condition, you risk damage to your eyes that can lead to vision loss or blindness. By taking steps to manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol, you can keep your eyes healthier longer.
  • Follow a healthy diet and regular exercise program to help you with many aspects of your health, including your eye health. If you smoke, it’s important that you stop smoking. And if you have diabetes, getting regular eye exams is going to be even more important to stay on top of any changing conditions. With the right care, the risk of vision loss can be reduced up to 95 percent.
  • It can take years to lose your eyesight from a condition such as diabetic retinopathy. Often, however, there are no warning signs to diabetic eye disease, which means that by the time you notice symptoms, there is irreversible damage.
  • See an ophthalmologist annually for a comprehensive, dilated exam. The eye is observed through dilated pupils to see the back of the eye as well as the retina, macula, optic nerve and blood vessels. The doctor will also screen for glaucoma by measuring the pressure in the eyes.

If you have diabetes and you haven’t scheduled your next eye exam at The Eye Clinic, call us at (503) 297-4718 to schedule your appointment.

Posted in: Diabetic Eye Care

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St. Vincent: 503.297.4718