How Can Diabetes Affect My Eyes?
Ocular complications from diabetes are a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the United States. The longer a person has a diagnosis of diabetes and the longer the blood sugar is poorly controlled the higher the risk factor is to develop eye complications known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is when the blood vessels inside the retina weaken which causes them to swell, leak, or stop working all together. Once this occurs, abnormal blood vessels start to grow which can further complicate the retinal health.
Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?
Certain presentations of diabetic retinopathy will require treatment which includes but is not limited to eye drops, laser procedures or medicine that is injected into the eye. Maintaining a good HgA1c, blood sugar levels and a healthy lifestyle which includes not smoking are key to help reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
How Often Should I Have An Eye Exam If I Have Diabetes?
Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is key to preventing permanent visual damage. It is recommended that people who have diabetes get their eyes examined once a year.