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Diabetic Eye Care

Diabetic Vision Care – How to Have Healthy Eyes For Life

As an individual with diabetes, you know how important your diet, exercise, and prescribed medications are to maintaining optimal health. Taking great care of yourself is critical to avoiding diabetes-related eye problems and vision loss, as well. Unfortunately, far too many cases of diabetic retinopathy progress to the point of irreversible vision loss before the condition is detected. In most cases, vision remains perfect even after bleeding in the retina has begun. Because individuals of all ages with diabetes face a significantly increased risk of eye disease, vision loss, and blindness, all those with diabetes should receive a thorough diabetic eye exam at least once per year.

How to Halt Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma & Cataracts

Diabetes can create havoc throughout the body; however, its effects on the eyes can be particularly devastating. Improperly controlled diabetes can result in glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic neuropathy. If detected early and treated with a comprehensive approach for optimal health, the progress of this trio of potential sight-stealers can usually be halted.

#1: Glaucoma – This leading cause of blindness results from optic nerve damage caused by increased pressure inside the eye. Typically, there are no symptoms or pain until vision loss occurs. There is no cure and the condition is irreversible, although with proper care further vision loss can be prevented. Diabetic patients are 40% more likely than the general public to suffer from glaucoma.

#2: Cataracts – With age, proteins within the lens of the eye may change from clear to cloudy as proteins begin to stick together. These blurry spots or “cataracts” can make vision seem cloudy, create the illusion of “halos,” cause double vision, and may make colors seem dull or faded. Diabetic patients are 2-5x as likely as non-diabetic individuals to develop a cataract. One in Six Americans over age 40 is affected. Fortunately, this condition can be effectively treated with a simple outpatient procedure. Unless contraindicated, do not wait to have a cataract removed, as complete loss of vision can occur over time.

#3: Diabetic Retinopathy – The #1 cause of blindness in the U.S. resulting from damage to the small blood vessels that nourish the retina; Abnormal/poor growth of vessels can result in retinal scarring and detachment, as well as glaucoma in some cases. Diabetic macular edema (swelling) can also occur. Although the condition can be treated and managed, no cure exists. Prevention is critically important!

Seek immediate medical attention if you have diabetes and experience:

Severe Pain
Blurred Vision
Nausea
Vomiting
Seeing Rainbow Halos
Rapid Onset of Visual Disturbance in Low Light Conditions
Eye Redness

How to Protect Eye Health When You Have Diabetes

Early detection can help reduce the risk of blindness among those with diabetes by 95%. Some patients with diabetes may require a comprehensive dilated eye exam bimonthly. Work with your doctor to help keep your blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control to help minimize the risk of vision loss.

Wise Eyes Optical strongly urges all patients with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam at least once per year, or as directed by their medical professional. This simple, pain-free examination can identify the three most common sight-stealers so that professional treatment can begin immediately if an issue is discovered. Early diagnosis and treatment provides a much better prognosis for saving your sight.

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