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.
May is Healthy Vision Month. 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.