If you have diabetes, regular visits to your ophthalmologist for eye exams are important to avoid eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetic eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74.
If you have diabetes, suspect diabetes, or have a family history of diabetes, please contact our offices south of Boston including Quincy, Weymouth and Norwell, and other Massachusetts-area locations and ask for a Patient Advocate at 877-373-2020.
High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range. It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to fully return to normal.
Diabetes often stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the back of the eye, which ultimately leaks and damages the retina. If this condition is discovered early, laser treatment can destroy these vessels and stop damage to the retina.
Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problems with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are:
This new definition underscores the importance for everyone to take steps to help prevent the development of this disease. Individuals can try to avoid the problems associated with diabetic eye disease by taking appropriate care of themselves and following healthy guidelines such as:
- Maintain a normal weight
- Watch your diet, especially limiting unhealthy types of fats and substituting complex carbohydrates for simple carbohydrates
- Participate in an exercise program, performing at least 2 1/2 hours of aerobic exercise every week
- Do not smoke
Lifestyle management has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Type II Diabetes and pre-diabetes by at least two-thirds. It can also slow or halt the progression of pre-diabetes to full diabetes.