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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

Last updated 5 years ago

Visiting the local eyeglass store for an optical exam is especially important for diabetes patients, who are at higher risk for eye disease. While diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74, understanding the way diabetes impacts vision, as well as taking important preventive steps, can help patients manage serious complications.

The Impact of Diabetes
Diabetes occurs as result of an excess amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Having high blood glucose can damage the tiny blood vessels that run through the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye known as the retina. Over time, these blood vessels can swell and weaken or become clogged and block blood flow altogether. Because of this, diabetic patients are prone to a variety of eye illnesses and complications including cataracts, glaucoma, and the most common complication, diabetic retinopathy.

Preventive Steps
Good diabetes management can significantly reduce your risk of diabetic eye disease. This can be accomplished by monitoring and managing your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Maintaining your weight, staying active, and avoiding tobacco products can also contribute to eye disease prevention.

In addition, retina damage has many warning signs, including blurred or double vision, dark or floating spots, pain or pressure in one or both eyes, perceived flashes of light, and blind spots in peripheral vision. Identifying these symptoms and seeking treatment immediately can help to prevent permanent vision impairment. For example, according to the National Eye Institute, timely treatment can reduce a diabetic patient’s risk of retinopathy by 95 percent. If you suspect that you may have diabetes-induced retinal damage, visit your local eyeglass store for an optical exam. 

Treatment Options
Early detection and timely treatment can prevent vision loss. Depending on your diagnosis, treatment can take a variety of forms, including laser treatment, cataract surgery, or the use of eye drops or medication. If your vision is permanently impaired, an optometrist can help to determine the appropriate eyeglasses or contact lenses necessary to aid your sight.

Visit Wize Eyes in one of our six Long Island locations for an affordable eye exam. Call (415) 358-0040 to schedule your appointment today or to hear about our selection of eyewear.


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