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What Everyone With Diabetes Should Know About Eye Health

What Everyone With Diabetes Should Know About Eye Health

If you have diabetes, you know that it affects your blood sugar. Diabetes influences how your body breaks down the food you eat into glucose, or sugar, that your cells use for energy. When diabetes is out of control, levels of sugar in your blood can remain higher than they should be.

Chronic high blood sugar can affect various parts of your body. For example, it can damage nerves, which can lead to nerve problems throughout your body. It can also harm various organs, including your eyes, by causing damage to blood vessels. This damage can result in various eye conditions and even blindness.    

Fortunately, eye problems aren't inevitable for people with diabetes. You can take steps to protect your eyes, and the dedicated eye care providers at Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona, home of MyEyesToday.com, can help. Our providers understand how important your vision is to you. That's why they devote themselves to helping patients with diabetes keep their eyes as healthy as possible.

With that in mind, we'd like to share the following information about what everyone with diabetes needs to know about eye health.

How diabetes affects your eyes

Having diabetes — especially if you have trouble keeping your blood sugar within normal limits through diet, exercise, and medication — can affect the blood vessels and nerves in your eyes. As a result, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of several conditions.

For example, diabetes can lead to retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, a condition in which tiny blood vessels in your retina weaken and leak blood. Over time, retinopathy can lead to blindness.

People with diabetes also have a higher risk of glaucoma, which is pressure in the eyes that can cause loss of vision, and cataracts, which lead to blurry vision caused by clouding of the eye's lens.

How to protect your eyes

By taking the following steps, you can take charge of your eye health and protect your vision.

Keep blood sugar in control

Managing your blood sugar is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes-related eye conditions from developing. See your diabetes care provider regularly, take medications as prescribed, test your blood sugar as recommended, and follow your provider's advice on diet and exercise.

You can also protect your eyes by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels low.

Quit smoking

Smoking can affect your eyes in many ways, including causing harm to blood vessels in the eyes. If you smoke, try your best to quit. If you need help quitting, ask your provider, or go to smokefree.gov for advice, information, apps, and support.

Have regular eye exams

Seeing your eye doctor regularly — once a year, or more often if your provider recommends it — means catching any problems early, when they’re easiest to treat. Using a dilated eye exam, your provider can look inside your eyes for signs of any trouble.

You should see your eye doctor regularly even if you don't notice any symptoms in your eyes. Some conditions, such as retinopathy, may cause no symptoms in early stages.

In addition to your regular eye checkups, be sure to call our office right away if you experience any changes in your vision, such as a sudden shift in how well you can see, changes in night vision, or lines or spots in your field of vision.

Take good care of your eyes

Don't let diabetes threaten your vision. The specialists at Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona are here to help you with all of your eye care needs, including diabetes-related eye care.

Our offices are conveniently located in Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek, Arizona. Book an appointment by calling the office nearest you or by using our online request tool.

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