The various health impacts of diabetes are numerous, but did you know that it could also affect your eye health? Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, comprehensive diabetic eye care is critical because of the various ways diabetes can impact your vision.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar is a symptom of diabetes. Elevated blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels in your eye, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, a disease in which the retinal blood vessels that line the back of the eye become damaged. Some forms of diabetic retinopathy can permanently harm your vision. While many cases of diabetic retinopathy leave your vision intact, the disease is still damaging to the eye, and if left unchecked, can develop into proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more extreme form of the disease that causes the retinal blood vessels to leak fluid. This often results in blurred vision, and difficulty with reading and driving. 1 in 3 people with diabetes will suffer from diabetic retinopathy at some point in their lives, so it’s important to monitor your diabetes to protect your eyes.
High blood sugar is also associated with cataracts and glaucoma due to the extra pressure diabetes puts on the eye. Diabetes is also known to worsen pre-existing vision problems. Many of these problems, including diabetic retinopathy, may require surgical interventions like laser surgery to reverse the damage to your vision.
Fortunately for all of us, there are ways to help prevent eye damage from diabetes:
- The most important thing you can do to protect is your eyes is to monitor your diabetes: Eat healthfully, check your sugar levels, and reduce hyperglycemic incidents in order to lower risk to your eyes.
- Keeping your blood pressure within the normal range has also been shown to help reduce risk of eye problems.
- Quit smoking to help alleviate diabetic symptoms and improve your overall health, including your vision.
- Get annual eye exams and make sure to schedule an appointment if you notice any changes in your vision. Early intervention is the best route if problems do come up.
With some health monitoring, you can reduce your diabetic symptoms and lower your risk for eye problems in the future. Take care of your diabetes and protect your vision.
How to Use this Information: To learn more about how diabetes affects your eyes and for all of your eye care needs, talk to the experts at Vision Care Specialists. Call 303-991-9600 or schedule online to make an appointment!