In the U.S., over 30 million people have diabetes, and around 80 million have prediabetes. If you have diabetes, you might need to see your eye doctor more frequently because it puts you at risk of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. Taking certain measures and making lifestyle changes can help preserve your vision.
Here’s what you can do to slow the progression of diabetic eye disease.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Regular visits to your eye doctor can help with the early detection of eye conditions that can compromise your vision. Ideally, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam yearly, regardless of the state of your vision. Usually, diabetic eye diseases show no early symptoms in their initial stages. Your ophthalmologist can trace the slightest change in your eyes and provide appropriate treatment.
Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels can harm the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the soft-tissue structures within your eyes, such as the retina. Vision-threatening eye diseases usually start with damage to these tiny blood vessels. You can keep your eyes healthy by managing your blood sugar through regular exercise, a healthy diet and prescribed medications.
Keep Control of Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also impact tiny, delicate eye blood vessels. Keep track of your blood sugar and cholesterol, include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and avoid fried foods and sugary drinks.
Don’t Wait Long to Get Help
You don’t need to wait for your annual eye exam to see your doctor. If you’ve noticed increased floaters or flashes of light in your field of vision, get help immediately. They are a common sign of retinal detachment, which is considered a medical emergency.
Routinely seeing your eye doctor is essential to preserving your vision. For your eye care needs, Alderwood Optical & Canyon Park Vision Clinic is always ready to help. Call us at (425) 771-8472 (Lynnwood) or (425) 485-0430 (Bothell). You can also fill out our contact form to learn more about our services. We serve patients around Kirkland and Redmond, WA.