How Does Diabetes Impact Eye Health?

Diabetes can have serious side effects on the human body, and it is possible that unstable blood sugar levels might result in irreversible health problems. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or you are pre-diabetic, then it is essential that you visit an eye doctor on a regular basis in order to maintain good eye health.

Diabetes and Eye Health

People with diabetes might experience eye complications, and eventually these complications can even lead to blindness. It has been found that patients with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness compared to people with normal blood sugar levels. Typically, a diabetic patient will only experience minor eye health problems, although these issues can develop into bigger problems if they are left untreated.

There are different types of diabetic eye diseases that might occur, such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic macular edema (DME), and diabetic retinopathy. These conditions are treatable when they are diagnosed early, so it is essential that you maintain regular checkups with your eye doctor in order to start treatments while the problems are in the early stages.

Avoiding Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy can occur when the high blood sugar levels begin to damage the small blood vessels in the retina within the eye. This damage is more common when the blood sugar levels are left unchecked and a person suffers from chronic high blood sugar. So, managing your diabetes to keep blood sugar levels in check is one of the best ways that you can avoid diabetic retinopathy.

If diabetic retinopathy occurs and the blood vessels within the eyes are damaged, then it might cause small hemorrhages within the eyes that can distort your vision. Usually the symptoms start small, and the earliest stages of the disease result in swelling that occurs within the blood vessels within the eyes. When the disease progresses, the blood vessels that are responsible for nourishing the retina may continue to swell. In severe stages of the disease, it is possible that these tiny blood vessels might lose their ability to transport the blood to the retina.

Early Detection is Best

Anytime an eye disease occurs, the best thing that you can do is work closely with an eye doctor to use the treatments that are available. When early detection is possible, then you will have a better chance of treating the disease in order to avoid the long-term problems that can occur.

Most diabetic patients know the importance of working closely with their doctor in order to manage medication dosages and insulin usage. In addition to visiting with your regular doctor, you need to also see an eye doctor at least once a year. During this eye exam, the optometrist will have the opportunity to assess your eye health and look for potential signs of eye disease that might impact your vision.

Here at Village Eyecare, we want to help you maintain healthy eyes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an eye exam with an experienced eye doctor in Chicago. We are here to answer your questions and make suggestions to protect your vision.