When you have diabetes, it’s important that you manage your diabetes. Not doing so can lead to a number of problems, including eye disease. Diabetic eye disease can lead to vision loss and even blindness.
Here is what you need to know about diabetic eye disease and steps you can take to protect your eyes.
- If you have diabetes, you need to manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol to help keep your eyes healthy. If you smoke, get help from your doctor to quit smoking.
- If you have diabetes, it’s crucial that you get a dilated eye exam annually. This is the best way to stay on top of your eye health and catch eye diseases earlier on, when they are easier to treat. Your doctor will check for vision problems and give you eye drops to dilate or widen your pupil and check for eye diseases.
- Diabetes affects your eyes when your blood glucose stays high over time. It damages the tiny blood vessels that are in the back of your eyes. These damaged vessels may leak fluid and cause swelling.
- The group of eye problems that affect people who have diabetes include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and glaucoma. About one in three people who have diabetes and are older than 40 will have signs of diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, your chances of developing glaucoma or cataracts are about twice that of someone without diabetes.
- Your risk of developing diabetic eye disease is greater if you have high blood glucose or high blood pressure that is not treated. High blood cholesterol and smoking can increase your risk as well.
- Symptoms of diabetic eye disease include blurry or wavy vision, frequently changing vision, dark areas or vision loss, poor color vision, flashes of light, and floaters or spots. If you notice sudden changes to your vision, you should see a doctor right away.
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes and need to schedule your next eye exam, call Wilkinson Eye Center at (248) 334-4931 today. Your eyes will thank you.