If you have diabetes, you are most certainly aware of what goes into managing the condition, including regularly monitoring your blood sugar, looking out for complications, and leading a healthy lifestyle. However, diabetes can have an impact on the health of your eyes, making it all the more important to get it under control. November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness month, and the experts at Mack Eye Center want to provide patients with the most essential information about the disease’s effects on the eyes.
Understand the Risks
Managing your condition starts with understanding the risks that are associated with the disease. Generally, the longer you have the condition, the higher the risk of damage to your eyes. Diabetes can lead to a number of eye diseases, such as:
Diabetic retinopathy: This eye disease occurs when elevated blood sugar levels damage the delicate blood vessels located in the retina over time. Once the vessels are damaged, they can rupture and begin leaking, leading to blurry vision. In some cases, new blood vessels grow to replace the old ones, but they may develop abnormally, which can lead to additional issues with vision.
Cataracts: If you have a cataract, it means the transparent front layer of the eye has become clouded, affecting your vision. Although cataracts can occur in anyone, patients with diabetes are at an increased risk of the condition. This is because high blood sugar can lead to buildup in the naturally clear lens of the eye and contribute to cloudiness.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma describes a group of eye diseases that gradually damage the optic nerve, leading to blindness. Often, those with glaucoma do not exhibit any symptoms until serious damage has already occurred. If you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of developing open-angle glaucoma, which is at first characterized by patches of blind spots in your vision, and eventually leads to difficulty seeing objects that are in your central vision.
Attend Regular Appointments
Individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing serious vision-threatening eye conditions. However, many skip the eye examinations that can help save or restore their vision. If you have diabetes, you should be attending regular eye exams, even if your condition is well managed. Doing so can benefit you in the following ways:
- Accurate assessment of your eye health
- Identify any serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma
- Allow for early intervention and treatment of eye conditions, which can save your vision
Eye Health in Hoffman Estates
Managing your diabetes can help preserve your vision. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to prevent vision loss due to diabetes, schedule your consultation today with an experienced member of our team.