Did you know diabetes is the leading cause of blindness for adults ages 20 to 64? Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in the back of the eye, caused by diabetes, which can lead to a significant loss of vision. It is one of the most frequent causes of retinal blindness in the world.
Nearly 25 percent of diabetics have some form of diabetic retinopathy, and five percent have a severe case of the eye disease. The incidence of diabetic retinopathy can depend on how long you have had diabetes. Blood vessels in the back of the eye can start to leak, and early detection of this condition is vital.
Proper eye care and regular eye examinations for diabetics are mandatory for early detection of the leaky retinal blood vessels. A laser is sometimes used to treat these abnormal blood vessels and sometimes surgery is required to clear the eye of blood left by the disease.
In addition to regular eye exams, there are several eye care tips that are important for diabetics to follow in order to prevent diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related vision problems:
- Keep your blood glucose levels under control.
- Keep your blood pressure in control. High blood pressure alone is commonly associated with eye disease. When combined with diabetes, it can significantly increase your chances of developing serious eye conditions or disease.
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or have lived with the disease for years, if you experience changes in your vision including blurred vision, seeing black spots or flashes of light, or partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes, see your eye doctor immediately.
Vision loss cannot be reversed, but with proper eye care, it could be prevented. Schedule an eye exam with Key-Whitman today.