Diabetes is a multi-system disease that can wreak havoc on your entire body. Long-term uncontrolled blood sugar can affect your organs, nerves and blood vessels. That includes the blood vessels in your eyes, which is why people with diabetes are more likely to develop eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely your eyesight is to suffer. Regular dilated eye exams at Clarity Eye Group can help you prevent vision loss from diabetes.
How Diabetes Harms Your Vision
Diabetes damages your vision when your blood glucose remains high for a long time. That can happen from poor control of your blood sugar levels before knowing you have diabetes and after diagnosis. The excess blood sugar damages the integrity of the blood vessels found in your eye, causing them to leak and swell. Your body responds by creating new blood vessels, but they are much weaker than before, and they bleed into the center of the eye, increasing eye pressure and leading to retina scarring.
Short-term blood glucose fluctuations that may occur when you change your medication or care plan are not likely to cause permanent damage but may cause temporary blurry vision while your levels stabilize.
Blood vessel issues caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels are a precursor to the four diabetic eye diseases that threaten vision: diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma and cataracts.
These eye diseases come with varying symptoms, and some present with no warning signs before vision loss. Medications, laser treatments or surgery may be able to reverse some damage and save your remaining vision. Still, the goal is to prevent diabetes from affecting your eyes from the start.
How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease
The best way to save your vision is to follow the diabetes ABCs, which stands for: A1C test for average blood sugar levels over several months, Blood pressure, Cholesterol and quitting Smoking. Managing your condition and adjusting your lifestyle will save more than your vision. People with diabetes can live full, healthy lives with proper care and treatment.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that puts your vision at more risk every year. Part of managing diabetes includes annual dilated eye exams. These appointments at Clarity Eye Group check for the earliest signs of diabetic eye disease and, in some cases, may help diagnose diabetes for those who don’t know they have the condition.
Schedule your dilated eye exam at our Huntington Beach office today.