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Don't Let Diabetes Steal Your Vision

Updated on October 12, 2014

Testing Your Vision

Diabetes can affect your eyes in several ways. Diabetes could cause you to have blurred vision to vision loss if not managed. Many individuals may not recognise that they a eye disease until its at an advanced stage because the symptoms can be subtle. One way to prevent eye problems is to have a regular eye exam. The American Diabetes Association recommends that Diabetics get their eyes checked every year. If your eye exams show any signs of diabetic retinopathy you will need to see a retina specialist every six months. A comprehensive exam and a dilated exam may be necessary.

Types of Diabetic Eye Diseases

Most Americans with diabetes are diagnosed with some type of eye disease. Between 40%-50% have diabetic retinopathy or damage to the blood vessels of the retina because of blockage. This eye disease is the leading cause of blindness.

Another eye Disease is Macula Edema. This disease is where edema or fluid leak out of the capillary walls into the macula. The Macula is the part of the eye that helps you to focus. The symptoms of Macula begins with blurriness and untreated eventually blindness.

Cataracts in diabetic patients is another major cause of blindness. Cataracts cause the eye lens to become foggy or cloudy. This results in blurred vision.

Glaucoma in diabetic patients is due to a increase in ocular pressure in the eye. The symptoms of Glaucoma are headaches, eye aches, or pain, blurred vision, watering eyes, halos around lights and untreated results in vision loss.


Treatments

Once you have diabetic retinopathy there is no treatment. There is laser surgery to prevent vision loss. If macular edema is present laser surgery is also the treatment to slow down vision loss. Glaucoma is also irreversible but with eye drops, pills and or laser surgery you can slow down vision loss. Cataracts can be treated with glasses, eye drops, and last replacement of the lens may be performed.

How to Prevent

1. Check your glucose every day and document the readings

2. Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol

3. Follow a healthy eating plan

4. Be active a total of 30 minutes ad day

5. Take your medications as prescribed by your physician


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