Diabetes can sometimes be a tricky condition to manage because patients frequently do not notice any problems with their vision even though the inside of their eye is being damaged. Some of the most common eye conditions caused by hyperglycemia are cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when the tiny blood vessels in your eyes become damaged by the high blood sugar levels over time.
If diabetes is well-managed, these secondary conditions can often be avoided altogether. Below are some helpful tips to help care for your eyes when you have diabetes:
- Keep blood sugar under control by maintaining a healthy diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein
- Keep cholesterol in check by eating a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fats
- See your optometrist at least once each year so that any developing eye conditions can be caught early and treated
- Have your A1c checked every few months, if possible, and try to keep it at or below 7%
- High blood pressure (hypertension) is also prevalent amongst those with diabetes and should be kept below 130/80 to prevent additional problems with your vision caused by damaged blood vessels
- Glaucoma occurs more commonly in patients with diabetes and should be check at least once a year. This involves checking the eye pressure and peripheral vision for any decrease.
It is important to be aware of any changes to your vision. Contact your optometrist right away if you notice any of the following:
- Blurry vision
- Flashes of light
- Black spots or “floaters”
- Loss of sight in one or both eyes
If you have questions about how diabetes can affect your eyes or to schedule an appointment, please call North Coast Optometry at (760) 757-8771 today!