Diabetic Retinopathy: 5 Tips to Lower Your Risk

Signs of diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetes-related eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in working-age Americans. It’s also preventable. If you have diabetes, talk with your primary care doctor about controlling your blood sugar. High blood sugar damages retinal blood vessels. That causes vision loss. If you have high blood pressure or kidney problems? Ask your doctor about ways to manage and treat these problems.

What Happens When You Have Diabetic Retinopathy?

You can have diabetic retinopathy and not know it. This is because it often has no symptoms in its early stages. As it gets worse, you will notice symptoms such as:

  • seeing an increasing number of floaters,
  • having blurry vision,
  • having vision that changes sometimes from blurry to clear,
  • seeing blank or dark areas in your field of vision,
  • having poor night vision, and
  • noticing colors appear faded or washed out
  • losing vision.

The symptoms usually affect both eyes.

Take an active role in managing your diabetes to lower your risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy:

  • Get a yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam
  • Keep your blood sugar levels as close to your target range as possible
  • Eat healthy food and be physically active
  • Quit smoking (or never start)
  • Visit your eye doctor if you notice any changes in your vision

Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms in the early stages, so be sure to get an eye exam every year to catch it early if it develops, to help prevent permanent vision loss or blindness. Early detection and timely treatment work best!

Although there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, some treatments can prevent permanent vision loss. Your eye doctor may recommend “laser treatment” that can help shrink blood vessels, “injections” that can reduce swelling, or “surgery.” It’s important for you to go to all follow-up appointments that your doctor schedules.

If you have diabetic retinopathy, low-vision rehabilitation and aids such as magnifying glasses, large-print newspapers, and telescopic lenses can help you stay independent. Ask your eye doctor about seeing a low-vision specialist.

1 Comment on Diabetic Retinopathy: 5 Tips to Lower Your Risk

  1. Nice article and thanks for this posting. Diabetes definitely has an impact on the eyes. In fact this is the first symptom in lot of cases.Diabetic retinopathy is becoming more common now a days. Are you sure that there will be no side effect of laser treatment. I hope a reply from you and also hope a posting from you regarding retinopathy elaborately.Thanks again and awaiting your next valuable post.

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