Diabetes and Your Eyes: What You Need to Know
diabetes and your eyes what you need to know

Diabetes and Your Eyes: What You Need to Know

June 4, 2024

Did you know that diabetes can affect more than just your blood sugar? It can also impact your eyes. Understanding how diabetes affects your eyes and what you can do to protect your vision is super important. Let’s dive into the basics so you can keep your eyes healthy and strong.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where your body has trouble using sugar, or glucose, the way it should. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin, which is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give you energy. 

In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Both types can cause high blood sugar levels, which can harm different parts of your body, including your eyes.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

High blood sugar is capable of damaging the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. Here are a few eye problems that people with diabetes might face:

1. Diabetic Retinopathy

This is the most common eye problem for people with diabetes. It happens when high blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the retina, the part of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. If these blood vessels leak or get blocked, it can cause blurry vision or even blindness if not treated. There are treatments for diabetic retinopathy

2. Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

This occurs when fluid builds up in the macula, a part of the retina that’s responsible for sharp, central vision. It can make it hard to see details clearly.

3. Cataracts

People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts, which cloud the lenses of their eyes. It can make your vision blurry or dim. Only getting eye surgery in Calgary is the solution to removing cataracts.

4. Glaucoma

Diabetes can also increase the risk of glaucoma, a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is essential for good vision. Due to high pressure in the eye, this damage is often caused.

Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For

It’s essential to pay attention to any changes in your vision, especially if you have diabetes. Here are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Blurry or double-vision
  • Dark or empty spots in your vision
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Seeing colours that seem to have faded or washed out
  • Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription

If you notice any of these symptoms, tell your partner or other family members or friends right away so they can take you to an eye doctor.

Protecting Your Eyes

Taking care of your eyes is crucial, especially if you have diabetes. Here are some ways to care for your eyes to keep them healthy:

  1. Control Your Blood Sugar: Keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range can help prevent damage to the blood vessels in your eyes. It usually means eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking any prescribed medications.
  2. Regular Eye Exams: Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. An eye doctor can detect problems early and help you manage them before they get worse.
  3. Keep Blood Pressure and Cholesterol in Check: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can also damage your blood vessels, including those in your eyes. Eating healthy, staying active, and taking your medications can help keep these levels in check.
  4. Quit Smoking: Smoking is bad for your overall physical health, especially your eyes. If you smoke, talk to a doctor about ways to quit.
  5. Protect Your Eyes: Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays when you’re outside. Also, wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities that could injure your eyes.

Living With Diabetes And Healthy Eyes

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t have healthy eyes. By taking care of your overall health, keeping your blood sugar levels stable, and having regular eye check-ups, you can reduce your risk of eye problems. Remember, your eyes are your windows to the world, and it’s essential to keep them as healthy as possible.

Last Thoughts

Diabetes can be challenging to manage, but understanding how it affects your eyes and what you can do to protect your vision makes a big difference. Keep your blood sugar under control, get regular eye exams, and take care of your overall health.

By doing these things, you can help ensure that your eyes stay healthy and that you continue to see the world clearly. Take care of your eyes today, so they can take care of you for years to come.

If you need expert consultation for your eyes, book an appointment with Clarity Laser Vision. Our specialist eye surgeons in Calgary are well-versed in giving you the knowledge and undergoing treatments to restore your eyes’ proper functioning.