While many people know that diabetes can affect your eyesight, few know that your ophthalmologist can be the first to detect diabetes by giving you a complete dilated eye exam. The eyes are directly linked to glucose levels in the body, and blood sugar that is too high for too long can often cause damage to the retina or cause changes to the lens. At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates, we are experienced in diagnosing and treating a group of vision concerns known as diabetic eye disease.
Symptoms of diabetic eye disease1
- Floaters – dark spots or strings that float in your vision
- Blurred vision
- Wavy vision
- Vision changes
- Flashes of light
- Loss of color clarity vision
Eye conditions that can be caused by diabetes
The change in pressure to the eye caused by diabetes can cause blood vessels to grow differently, which can cause a type of glaucoma, or it can cause swelling and blurred vision. Here are some of the eye conditions2 that can be caused or exacerbated by blood sugar that is out of control.
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Diabetic macular edema
- Retinal detachment
Prevention of diabetic eye disease
Your ophthalmologist at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates may be able to catch diabetic eye disease before it becomes serious, but taking steps to control your glucose levels is crucial. Here are some other ideas to help you prevent diabetic eye disease.
- Increase your daily physical activity
- Follow a healthy diet restricting carbs and sweeteners
- Lower your cholesterol levels
- Manage your blood pressure
- Stop smoking
- Carefully manage your diabetes with insulin and glucose testing
- Get annual eye exams
- Monitor any vision changes
- Get annual physical exam including an A1c test
When should I see a doctor?
You should receive a yearly ophthalmology exam with dilation if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. Your doctor may recommend even more frequent eye exams. If your ophthalmologist detects an elevation of glucose or a diabetic condition, you should follow up with a visit to your primary care physician.
If you’re pregnant, gestational diabetes can worsen diabetic eye disease, including diabetic retinopathy.3 It is important to have additional eye exams during pregnancy.
If you notice any changes in your vision, see your ophthalmologist right away. If you suddenly lose vision or experience flashes of light or floaters, it could be an urgent condition. Come to Colorado Ophthalmology Associates immediately for fast, quality care.
Treatment for diabetic eye disease
Depending on the kind of disease that has been detected, your ophthalmologist will offer a treatment plan that’s right for you. This plan could include1:
- Laser treatment
- Special equipment
Get an appointment for an eye exam today
Do you suspect your blood sugar levels may be changing your eyesight? Call us today to make an appointment for your exam. Come to one of our two Colorado locations for an exam by one of our board-certified, experienced ophthalmologists. We will go to work to check you for diabetes indicators and to check your eyes for good health and clear vision.