Diabetic eye disease is the group of eye problems that diabetic patients are likely to suffer as a diabetes complication. Ultimately, these eye conditions can lead to vision loss or blindness. These eye diseases include:
- Diabetic retinopathy. This is the damage to the blood vessels found in the retina.
- Cataract. Developing at an early age among people with diabetes, this condition is the clouding of the lens of the eyes.
- Glaucoma. People with diabetes are twice as likely to get this condition where there is an increase in fluid pressure in the eye, leading to optic nerve damage and vision loss.
You can reduce your risk of developing a diabetic eye disease. There are, however, some risk factors that just cannot be controlled. These risk factors include the length of time that you have had diabetes, your age, and your ethnicity.
Here are some things that you can do to lower your chances and even prevent getting a diabetic eye disease and suffer from its symptoms and complications.
Control your blood sugar level
Make sure that you keep your blood sugar level in a healthy range. You can maintain this by frequently eating a healthy diet, having regular exercise, and taking your prescribed insulin or other medications, while continually doing blood sugar level monitoring.
Control your blood pressure
Diabetic eye diseases will more likely progress to a more severe form to those people who are hypertensive. Although it is unclear if high blood pressure has an effect on vision on a long term basis, it is still vital that you control it reduce your risk of experiencing the many diabetes complications.
Annual eye exam
At least once a year, visit your eye doctor to get your eyes checked. Although this will not stop diabetic eye disease, this will significantly help for its early diagnosis and treatment, which will spare you from extensive damage and possible complications.
Consult your eye doctor for vision changes
Vision changes such as eye pressure or pain, floaters, double or blurry vision, or vision loss can be a symptom of damage in your retina. Most of the time, early detection of the problem may lead to a more effective treatment.
You can further lower your chances or prevent diabetic eye disease and all the complications that go along with it by doing the following.
Smoking might not have shown evidence of increasing your risk for retinopathy, but this can aggravate many other health conditions that are associated with diabetes as well as the diseases of small blood veins.
Avoid risky activities
There are some physical activities such as weight lifting and a few contact sports that can prompt bleeding in the eye because of increase pressure or impact. Avoiding these can reduce your chances of damaging your eyesight.
Get enough exercise
Regular exercise will maintain your blood sugar levels within the normal range, thus reducing your risk of getting diabetic eye disease. Consult your doctor to help you determine the right types of exercise that are safe and best for you.