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Diabetic Eye Care

Prevent Diabetes Damage To Your Eyes

25-03-2023

Diabetic Eye Disease

When you have diabetes, your body is unable to process sugar properly, which can lead to a range of health problems. One of the most significant risks associated with diabetes is eye disease, which can cause vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. That is why it is essential for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to have regular eye exams. Diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy, occurs when high levels of glucose in the blood damage the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye responsible for transmitting visual information to the brain. Over time, this damage can cause the blood vessels to leak, swell, and even close off completely, leading to a range of vision problems.

Early Detection Is Key

One of the challenges with diabetic retinopathy is that it often has no symptoms in its early stages. As the condition progresses, you may notice symptoms such as blurred or distorted vision, blind spots, or floaters. However, by the time these symptoms appear, the damage may already be irreversible.

That is why regular eye exams are so crucial for people with diabetes. During an eye exam, your optometrist or ophthalmologist will use specialized equipment to examine the blood vessels in your retina and look for signs of damage. If they detect any problems, they can work with you to develop a treatment plan to prevent further damage and preserve your vision.

Regular Eye Exams & Self Care

Diabetes Canada recommends that people with diabetes have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. However, if you have any signs or symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, such as blurred vision, floaters, or difficulty seeing at night, you should see your eye doctor right away. In addition to regular eye exams, there are other steps you can take to protect your vision when you have diabetes. One of the most important things you can do is to keep your blood sugar levels under control. High levels of glucose in the blood can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, so it is essential to monitor your blood sugar levels closely and work with your physican to develop a treatment plan that keeps them within a healthy range.

Another crucial step in protecting your vision is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, getting regular exercise, and not smoking. All of these habits can help to reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and other complications of diabetes. If you do develop diabetic retinopathy, there are several treatment options available to you. One of the most effective treatments is called laser photocoagulation, which uses a laser to seal off leaking blood vessels in the retina. Another option is called vitrectomy, which involves removing the gel-like substance in the center of the eye and replacing it with a saline solution.

An Ounce Of Prevention

While these treatments can be effective, the best way to protect your vision is to prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing in the first place. By having regular eye exams, keeping your blood sugar levels under control, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of developing this serious complication of diabetes and enjoy clear vision for years to come. In conclusion, regular diabetic eye exams are a vital part of managing diabetes and protecting your vision. If you have diabetes, it is important to schedule regular eye exams with our Edmonton eye doctors, even if you do not have any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. By taking proactive steps to maintain your eye health, you can reduce your risk of developing vision problems and enjoy a full and active life.

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Diabetics should see an optometrist annually for a comprehensive diabetic eye exam to ensure their diabetes is not threatening their quality of vision.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, which in turn can result in vision loss and/or blindness.