Diabetes can increase a person’s risks for developing eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there’s no need to be anxious because your vision will not be impaired right away. There are ways to lessen your risk for the mentioned eye conditions. Here’s how:
Take regular dilated eye exams
A regular dilated eye exam is the process of taking a look at the back of the eye or the retina. In order to do this, the doctor will administer eye drops to your pupils, which is the opening at the center of the iris. Once they are enlarged, the doctor will be able to see the inside of your eyes and check if there are any signs of eye problems or damage.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will recommend regular dilated eye exams. Type 1 diabetes patients are typically advised to undergo the exam three to five years following their diagnosis. Meanwhile, those who have type 2 diabetes may be required to take the exam shortly after the disease was detected.
Maintain your blood sugar levels
Too much glucose or sugar in your blood can inflict damage on the eye, including vision loss. Blood sugar levels that are way beyond your target can affect four specific parts of the eye, and these are the retina, lens, vitreous gel, and optic nerve.
When you have diabetes, it’s imperative to maintain blood sugar levels to prevent the disease from affecting the other parts of your body, including your eyes. Make sure that your blood sugar level is always within the target through these ways:
- Exercise and maintain an active lifestyle.
- Observe a proper diet and avoid skipping meals. Eat at proper intervals to prevent your blood sugar from dropping and spiking.
- Take the necessary medication prescribed by your doctor.
Control your blood pressure
High blood pressure is common among individuals with diabetes, and when these two conditions are present, it further increases a person’s risk for developing eye problems like fluid build-up in the retina and nerve damage.
To keep eye problems at bay, patients should control their blood pressure levels through these ways.
- Eat a balanced diet that’s filled with foods that are low in saturated fat and sodium.
- Maintain an ideal weight.
- Exercise and stay fit.
- Take medications properly.
Be familiar with the symptoms of eye problems related to diabetes
If you have diabetes, you need to pay more attention to your eyes and inform your doctor immediately about anything unusual you have observed with your vision.
Some symptoms of diabetes-related eye problems include black spots in your vision, floaters, blank spots, blurry vision, pain, and disrupted peripheral vision.
Early detection is key.
When you have diabetes, you are in a more vulnerable position for eye disorders. Being attuned to the changes in your eyesight helps, but regular check-ups and monitoring are more effective in preventing eye problems or for keeping it from progressing further. Remember that regular eye tests can detect problems even before symptoms start to manifest.
Diabetes doesn’t necessarily equate to vision loss. Despite the disease, you can continue living a good quality of life and keep your eye health in check through the tips above.