Diabetic Eye Health: Here’s What You Should Know

woman monitors diabetes to manage eye health

Diabetes is a potentially devastating disease that, if left unmanaged, can cause serious health issues.  The eyes are particularly vulnerable if this disease is left unchecked.  

Having annual or even multiple eye exams per year can prevent debilitating complications from developing by catching them early.   

dad and daughter with diabetes protects eyes with sunglasses

However, an eye exam is only one factor of many that are needed to make sure you can manage the long-term effects of diabetes.

Here are a few actions that can help maintain eye health:

  • Wear sunglasses to limit ultraviolet light exposure.
  • Take prescribed medication to treat your diabetic condition.
  • Observe a well-balanced and healthy diet recommended by health professionals.
  • Manage cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking.

In addition, diabetics must remain cautious and alert of their condition to prevent eye issues such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular edema.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy weakens the blood vessels causing the vessels to leak and even to close. This causes new, abnormal blood vessels to form and lead to vision problems.
  • Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, the bundle of nerves connecting the eye to the brain. This action leads to complete vision loss if not treated early.
  • Cataracts cause a clouding of the lens of the eye that distorts and limits vision.
  • Macular Edema affects the portion of the retina used for reading, recognizing objects, and driving.  It can lead to partial vision loss and even blindness.

High blood pressure and high blood glucose that is not treated can cause the above illnesses.  

Often there are no warning signs of diabetic eye disease or vision loss when it first develops.  Staying committed to a healthier lifestyle through diet, exercise, and getting comprehensive eye exams can be a tremendous benefit to saving your vision. 

The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies well to ensuring healthy eyes.  

If you notice signs of vision distortion or loss, take them seriously. Please call The Eye Center, with offices in Huntsville and Madison, at 256-705-3937 to schedule your eye exam.




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