Diabetes and Eye Health

senior man with glucometer checking blood sugar level at home If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you are no doubt starting to realize how the disease can affect all aspects of your health. This, of course, includes the eyes. Here is some information you need to know about how diabetes can affect your vision and your eye health.

4 ways diabetes can affect your eyes

High blood sugar can lead to a variety of vision problems, and you should be especially vigilant about your eyes if you have diabetes – it is the primary cause of blindness in adults. Diabetes can increase your risk of:

1. Cataracts. Cataracts are the clouding up of your eye lens, making it difficult for the eye to focus. Cataracts are very common and are not just found in people with diabetes; however, people with diabetes can get them earlier in life and they can become serious very quickly.

2. Glaucoma. Glaucoma results when fluid builds up in the eye and causes pressure. This pressure damages the eye and affects vision.

3. Retinopathy. In diabetics, retinopathy may be caused by high blood sugar levels, and it is known as “diabetic retinopathy.” It occurs when the blood vessels in the retina (the group of cells in the back of the eye) are damaged. It can cause blindness, but the chances of getting it are lowered if blood sugar is kept under control.

4. Blurry vision. High blood sugar can cause your eye’s lens to swell, which can cause blurry vision. This may be only temporary and may correct itself once your blood sugar isn’t so high.

If you notice flashes of light, sudden blurred vision, or black spots or “holes” in your vision, don’t wait to see your doctor – these are considered emergency symptoms.

If you have diabetes, it is important to visit your doctor regularly, and it is just as important to see your eye doctor often. Let your eye doctor know you have diabetes so that he or she can help monitor any changes in your vision. Make an appointment at The Eye Care Institute if your health situation has changed, at the office in Santa Rosa or Petaluma. Call (707) 546-9800 today!

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