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If you have diabetes, you need to pay special attention to your vision. Diabetes can actually harm the tiny blood vessels in the back part of your eye, called the retina. This damage results in a condition called diabetic retinopathy. This eye disease is the primary cause of blindness for adults who are between 20 and 74 years old. Diabetes can also increase the risk of glaucoma, cataracts, and other problems with the eyes. Here are three more points diabetics need to be aware of when it comes to taking care of their eyes.
Some people don't get their vision checked until they start having trouble seeing. For those with diabetes, it is imperative to have regular eye exams so that problems can be caught early and treatment can begin right away. When it comes to diabetic eye care, an exam should be done at least once a year. Depending on your case, it might be recommended you come in more often. During the exam, your eyes will be dilated so that the optometrist can get a good look at your retinas. The optometrist may also need to take pictures of your retina. This is called digital retinal photography. Both of these tests are completely painless but you may need to wear sunglasses after the dilation as your eyes will be very sensitive to light.
Since diabetics are prone to having eye problems, they should take precautions to prevent these problems from developing. Controlling blood sugar levels is a must as high blood sugar can increase the risk of eye problems. Another thing diabetics should control is their blood pressure. For optimum eye care, diabetics should not smoke and they may have to avoid exercises that can strain the blood vessels. Two examples of such exercises are lifting weights and high-impact sports. Diabetics should also get their cholesterol levels checked and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
When it comes to diabetic eye care, certain symptoms can signify potential problems. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is imperative to call your Colorado Springs-Falcon-Windsor optometrist right away!
· Trouble seeing in dim light
· Blind spots
· Double vision
· Blurry vision or your eyes won't focus
· Eye pain or headaches
· Black spots in your line of vision
· Flashes of light
· Loss of vision in one or both eyes
· Fluctuation of vision
Having these types of symptoms does not necessarily mean you have diabetic retinopathy or any other type of eye disease, but it does mean you should get your eyes examined as soon as possible. If you have any questions when it comes to diabetic eye care, contact our eye care specialists today in Colorado Springs, Falcon, or Windsor. For added convenience, you can download and print our patient forms or complete the forms online.
Do you have diabetes? When is the last time you had your eyes examined? Contact Alpine Vision today for an appointment!