Diabetes can affect your eyes and cause various vision impairments. Every November, Diabetic Eye Disease Month takes place to bring awareness to the importance of early detection and prevention for the complications diabetes can cause.
What is diabetic eye disease?
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can affect people who have diabetes. Unfortunately, there are no warning signs for diabetic eye disease. However, early detection is possible, and timely treatment can help reduce the risks. An annual dilated eye exam is one of the best ways to detect early signs of diabetic eye disease.
There are many different ways that diabetic eye disease can affect your eyes. This includes cataracts and glaucoma, but the most common type is diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74. This is a condition where the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause the blood vessels of the retina to swell. This can result in them leaking fluid or becoming blocked.
The good news is, when detected early on, diabetic retinopathy can be treated to reduce the risk of blindness by up to 90 percent.
Reducing the risk
Learn what you can do this Diabetic Eye Disease Month. People with diabetes can take preventive action to help lower their risk of developing diabetic eye disease. The National Eye Institute urges individuals with diabetes to keep their health at the forefront of their minds and use “TRACK”.
Take your medications
Reach and maintain healthy weight
Add physical activity to your daily routine
Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol
Prevention is the best step you can take in order to protect against any damage caused by diabetic eye disease. Although diabetic eye disease cannot be cured, there are a number of treatments that can help reduce or stop the loss of vision.
This reduction can only happen if the problem is detected early on. Therefore, it is very important to have an annual comprehensive eye exam, even if you do not suffer from diabetes. If you do suffer from diabetes, you will need to make sure you are going in for a diabetic eye exam each year.
Raising awareness about diabetes is important. Diabetic eye disease can be debilitating, but with the right treatment and lifestyle, it can be reduced and even prevented. Diabetic Eye Disease Month aims to bring recognition to diabetic eye disease and educate the public.
It is critical to talk about the problems diabetes can cause for your vision. Ready to schedule an eye exam today? Contact your local Mississippi Eye Care clinic! For more about eye care and vision health, continue reading our blogs.