Diabetic individuals have a higher risk of suffering from retinopathy (a disease that affects the retina) and of losing their sight (becoming blind) than healthy individuals. It is therefore essential that they take excellent care of their eyes and of their diabetes.
Diabetes can cause an increase in blood sugar (glycemia). If the glycemia remains too high over a long period, it can damage blood vessels and cause irreparable damage to several organs in the body, including the eyes.
The best way to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of diabetes is therefore to bring the level of sugar in the blood down to an acceptable level and then to keep it there.
To do so, it’s important to follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor – not just the medication to be taken, but also the various dietary, exercise and weight loss recommendations, for example.
Diabetic individuals also often suffer from hypertension and cholesterol problems, which can have an impact on eye health as well. As with diabetes, proper treatment of these diseases helps reduce the risk of vision loss.
Don’t wait until you detect a vision problem to get an eye exam, because the damage caused by diabetes is usually irreversible. There are treatments that can stop or slow down the progression of retinopathy, but lost vision cannot be restored.
Everyone with diabetes should get an eye exam at least once a year, even when everything is going well. If you notice a sudden problem with your vision, see a doctor as soon as possible.