Diabetes is a life-altering disease that affects your life 24/7. With daily insulin monitoring and regular medical visits to assure your body is performing well, it can be difficult to stay on top of your diabetes.
And unfortunately, if you do not properly take care of your diabetes, it could lead to complications such as diabetic eye disease. In light of November’s designation as diabetic eye disease month, we want to explain what exactly it is and how you can prevent it.
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
In short, diabetic eye disease is a group of different eye conditions that can affect many parts of the eye. If you don’t monitor your diabetes, these are some of the conditions that you could develop:
- Diabetic retinopathy affects the small blood vessels in your retina, the seeing layer in the back of your eye. I is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics and the leading cause of blindness in American adults.
- Diabetic macular edema (DME) results from diabetic retinopathy. It is caused by fluid leaking from the blood vessels, which swells your macula, the center of the retina. This can cause your central vision to become blurry.
- Cataract causes cloudiness in your lens and changes the way light enters your eye. Diabetes can accelerate cataract growth-this can cause your vision to become blurry.
These eye conditions may seem intimidating and even scary for people with diabetes, but they can be prevented.
How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease
In order to prevent diabetic eye disease, you should follow the guidelines that are meant to keep your diabetes controlled. For diabetics, these may come as common sense, but it can be easy to neglect daily routines and fall into bad habits. To reinforce good habits, here are some diabetic care reminders that will help prevent diabetic eye disease:
- Receive a comprehensive dilated eye exam yearly because diabetic retinopathy often goes undetected until vision loss occurs.
- If you’re pregnant, receive a dilated eye exam early in your pregnancy.
- Maintain appropriate blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods and avoid smoking.
If your eye doctor detects diabetic retinopathy in your dilated eye exam, early treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent. In the end, early detection, appropriate treatment and follow-up care will be the key to preventing this potentially blinding disease.
At Logan Eye Care, we make it our goal to provide the best eye care available in Lake Mary. If you or a loved one need your yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam or have further questions on diabetic eye disease, schedule your appointment with us today.