Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone living with diabetes. Regardless of the type of diabetes, it’s not yet a curable disease.
However, it is a very treatable disease. No matter how frightening, annoying, and frustrating diabetes can be, people with the condition can live long, healthy, and happy lives. Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) will help you control your weight and can keep your blood glucose in the healthy range. This can help you prevent or delay complications.
There are steps you can take to avoid and treat diabetes-related eye problems:
- First, and most importantly, keep your blood sugar levels under tight control. In the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, people on standard diabetes treatment got retinopathy four times as often as people who kept their blood sugar levels close to normal. In people who already had retinopathy, the condition progressed in the tight-control group only half as often.
- Second, if you have high blood pressure, try to bring it under control. High blood pressure can make eye problems worse.
- Third, quit smoking.
- Fourth, visit your eye care professional at least once a year for a dilated eye exam. Having your regular doctor look at your eyes is not enough. Nor is having your eyeglass prescription tested by an optician. Only optometrists and ophthalmologists can detect the signs of retinopathy, and only ophthalmologists can treat retinopathy.
- Fifth, see your eye care professional immediately if:
- Your vision becomes blurry.
- You have trouble reading signs or books.
- You see double.
- One or both of your eyes hurt.
- Your eyes get red and stay that way.
- You feel pressure in your eye.
- You see spots or floaters.
- Straight lines do not look straight.
- You can’t see things to the side as you used to.