The Link Between Diabetes & Eye Health: What You Should Know

  • By:Dr. Katie Dugan

Did you know that diabetes is one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults? The truth is that blood sugar fluctuations can cause many complications throughout the body, and the eyes are often a sensitive area that is prone to irreversible damage. If you or a loved one has diabetes or pre-diabetes, then it’s critical that you work with both your doctor and an eyecare specialist to protect your vision and your overall health.

How Diabetes Affects the Eyes

Tiny blood vessels are located inside the eyes. When blood sugar levels are high, then these blood vessels can be damaged over time. When this damage occurs, it can contribute to different types of eye diseases, including:
• Diabetic Retinopathy: This condition is common among patients with diabetes. The damaged blood vessels within the eyes start to leak, which causes localized swelling and can result in vision problems. There are no symptoms in the earliest stages, which is why it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your eye doctor.
• Cataracts: Researchers have found that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cataracts. When the lens starts to cloud over, it causes blurry vision and can also affect glare and how well you can see colors. Surgery is the recommended treatment for cataracts.
• Glaucoma: Another common eye condition relating to diabetes is glaucoma. Because of the swelling and inflammation that is happening within the eye, it can cause damage to the optic nerve. Over time, vision loss will progress, especially if this condition is left untreated.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Even if you are proactively managing your diabetes, it’s critical that you maintain regular checkups with your eye doctor. Many of these symptoms and problems can be treated, especially when they are diagnosed in the earliest stages.
Remember that the early symptoms might go unnoticed in your daily life. However, an experienced eye doctor uses the right testing and tools for proper diagnosis – even in the beginning stages of eye disease. Once you have a clear diagnosis, then an effective treatment plan can be designed to slow the progression of your eye disease, helping you maintain good vision for as long as possible.
Talk to your eye doctor to know how often you should visit for regular eye exams. Often, the recommendation is to schedule appointments once a year. But for patients with a high risk and active symptoms, it might be necessary to visit an eye doctor more frequently.

Call the Eye Care Specialists

For more information about protecting your vision, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our professional team. Contact us at Temecula Creek Optometry if you have questions or you would like to learn more about available services: (951) 302 -1331.

Posted in: Eye Exams