Diabetics need to be especially careful about protecting the health of their eyes to minimize the chances for blindness. Too much glucose in their bloodstream for too long of a time period can increase the risk for eye problems.
In order to minimize your risks for eye problems you should follow your doctor’s advise and follow a healthy eating plan, exercise a minimum of 30 minutes each day and take all medications as prescribed. It is really important to know what your blood glucose readings are everyday. So check your blood glucose as instructed by your doctor and record them in your diabetic journal. Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels by having them checked on a regular basis and recording these readings in your journal too. If you smoke, quit and if you don’t smoke do not start.
There are many things you can do when you have diabetes that will decrease your risk for eye problems. Perhaps the most important is to learn how to manage your blood glucose level by eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis and by monitoring your blood glucose level on a daily basis. It is important to have regular eye exams as specified by your doctor. It is important to discover eye problems early on, so that treatment can prevent blindness. Laser treatment is the usual method for fixing retinopathy found in diabetics. Your eye doctor will also check for signs of cataracts and glaucoma during the eye exam. It is really important that if you are pregnant to see your eye doctor during the first 3 months of pregnancy or to see the eye doctor before you become pregnant if you are trying to conceive.
Both high blood glucose and high blood pressure can harm your eyes. Both high blood glucose and high blood pressure are commonly found in diabetics. Damage to your retina occurs slowly over time and is the result of damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. It is the pressure from high blood pressure or from having high blood glucose that causes this blood vessel damage.
Symptoms of eye damage may be seeing floating black spots, blurriness to your vision or loss of vision in one or both of your eyes. You may also experience flashing lights or pain. You may feel pressure in one or both of your eyes or trouble seeing things out of the corners of your eyes.
The three basic eye problems that face a diabetic are retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma.
Ophthalmologists, and optometrists are the eye care professionals that can examine you and advise you on caring for your eyes.
Your diabetic doctor can recommend an eye doctor for you to see if you need to locate one. You can also locate one through the American Academy of Ophthalmology on the web at www.aao.org