Do you suffer from diabetes? At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO, the month of November is focused on the education and prevention of diabetic eye disease. Diabetes creates a higher risk of vision loss from diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, glaucoma, dry eye disease and cataracts.1 Unfortunately, studies show that 60% of diabetics in the United States do not get the annual eye exams that can be the first line of defense in helping to prevent vision loss.2
Thickening of the retina, excess pressure of the retinal fluid, changes in the shape of the lens, and pressure in the blood vessels are all dangers connected to diabetes that can cause vision loss or eye disease.
Warning Signs of Eye Disease
Some early warning signs to watch out for include:3
- Blurry vision
- Spots or floaters in vision
- Pain in one or both eyes
- Night vision difficulty
- Blurry vision in one eye
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Diminished peripheral vision
- Double vision
The good news is that diabetic eye disease is preventable. Studies show that 90% of diabetic vision loss can be prevented, so a few simple changes can make a big difference.2 Here are three great ways to prevent any of these diabetes-related diseases from damaging your eyes.
Annual Ophthalmology Visits
Not surprisingly, regular eye exams are your first line of defense in catching any changes in your vision or eye health if you have diabetes. Since your eyes need the best care, it is important to visit a board-certified ophthalmologist for more targeted diabetic eye exams.
The next thing you can do to prevent eye disease is to manage your diabetes carefully. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for diet and medications, including insulin. Measure your blood sugar levels carefully and watch for any changes in vision.
If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol in addition to diabetes, your risk for developing diabetic retinopathy increases.4 So, it is important to keep other conditions under control and managed by your physician.
Finally, take a closer look at your lifestyle. If you lead a sedentary life, start a simple exercise program by walking each day. As you grow stronger, add to the difficulty until you are able to exercise every day. Exercise is proven to be good for both your eye health and your diabetes.1
If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. Smoking increases your risk for diabetic eye disease and quitting will dramatically reduce that risk. Regardless of your age or how long you have smoked, you can notice a wide range of health benefits by quitting smoking or vaping.5 Find help @ https://www.quit.com/.
Get a prevention eye appointment today
If you have diabetes, call one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood for an appointment to begin closely monitoring your eye health and vision changes. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are skilled at managing diabetic vision care and are here to help you.