November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetic eye disease treatment is 95% effective in preventing blindness when detected early. Making healthy choices and taking steps to manage your diabetes can preserve your vision and overall health. It’s essential to take steps now to keep your vision health on track. Here are 3 ways diabetes can affect your eyes.
Excess blood sugar caused by diabetes increases the likelihood of cataracts. Adults with diabetes are 2-5 times more likely to develop cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye clouds up from natural proteins that build up over time. Learn more about cataracts and treatment options in our blog, How Cataracts Affect Vision.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and is caused by high blood sugar due to diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar in your blood vessels can damage your retina. The retina detects light and sends signals to your brain through the optic nerve in the back of your eye. It damages blood vessels found in the retina. Eye doctors can detect diabetic retinopathy during a routine eye exam. If you have diabetes, it’s important to schedule annual eye exams. Early detection and treatment can stop damage to the eye and prevent blindness.
People with diabetic retinopathy are more likely to develop glaucoma. Glaucoma increases the fluid pressure inside your eye and damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma has very few symptoms in its early stage, so detecting glaucoma early can slow or even fully prevent the disease. Having a dilated eye exam every year is the best way to detect early symptoms. Learn more about glaucoma and how it affects your eyes in our blog, What You Need to Know About Glaucoma.
The longer you’ve had diabetes, the higher the risk of developing these conditions. Remember, your eye health can be compromised before you notice any change in vision. Make sure you schedule regular eye exams to detect issues early and to keep your eyes healthy!