If you suffer from diabetes, you are at an increased risk for other health complications including those affecting your eyes. November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. It is a time to bring attention to both diabetes and eye health.
In honor of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, our eye doctors at Vista Eye Specialists in Fredericksburg and Culpeper will discuss how diabetes impacts eye health.
How Does Diabetes Impact Eye Health?
Diabetes can put you at an increased risk for certain eye diseases. There are often no early warning signs. The only way to detect diabetic eye diseases and prevent vision loss is through regular eye exams. If you have diabetes, you should tell your eye doctor before your eye exam so that your doctor can take your diabetes into account when performing your eye exam and any additional tests. The following are diabetic eye diseases that can impact your eye health:
Diabetic retinopathy weakens the blood vessels in the back of the eye. Initially, it may be symptomless or present with very mild symptoms. As it progresses, it can cause the following:
- Blurred vision
- Cloudy vision
- Blind spots
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye complication and is one of the leading causes of blindness for adults in the United States. While damage caused by diabetic retinopathy cannot be reversed, early treatment can slow its progression and prevent further vision loss.
In a healthy eye, the lens in the front of the eye is clear. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that can develop over time. This impacts how light enters the eye and can eventually lead to blurry vision and other symptoms. A cataract can significantly impact vision as it progresses.
Diabetes increases your chances of developing cataracts. If you have diabetes, your eye doctor can test for cataracts. Cataracts are very treatable. If you have cataracts, your eye doctor can advise you regarding your surgical options. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to remove cataracts and restore clear vision.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. It can develop over time without noticeable symptoms. Without diagnosis and treatment, glaucoma can cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve and blindness.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Diabetes puts you at a greater risk for glaucoma. The only way to know if you have glaucoma is through a comprehensive eye exam.
Contact Vista Eye Specialists in Virginia
Your eye health is important. If you have diabetes, a comprehensive diabetic eye exam is the best way to protect your eye health. Contact Vista Eye Specialists in Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Va. today to schedule an eye exam.