People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing specific ocular diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. Fortunately though, proper blood glucose control can minimize this risk. If you have diabetes, our professional and compassionate eye doctors at South County Eye Care will keep watch on your eyes to help preserve your long-lasting vision. Dr. Justin Michaels and Dr. Lucy DeMoss are experienced in providing expert eye care services for people with diabetes, in our Lake Forest office.
In general, vision problems due to diabetes indicate that blood glucose levels are not being kept within a normal range. When blood sugars run high, extra stress is put on your eyes, (in addition to many other parts of the body, such as the heart and kidneys). Proliferative diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are the two primary ocular conditions that can result. In contrast, when diabetes is controlled well and blood glucose levels are maintained within the goal parameters that your physician advises, eye complications can be prevented.
If you have diabetes, vision loss is not inevitable.
Read on for more information about how to be proactive and take the best care of your eyes.
Top Ways to Keep Your Vision Sharp With Diabetes
Regular Eye Exams
When signs of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts are detected at a very early stage, the progression of these diseases can be slowed or halted. As symptoms are usually not experienced until the diseases have advanced, a comprehensive eye exam is the only reliable way to detect the onset of diabetic eye complications, and an early diagnosis = early treatment. If you have diabetes and want to keep your eyesight as clear and healthy as possible, call now to schedule a thorough eye exam in our Lake Forest, Orange County office.
Even if it’s not yet time for your regular dilated eye exam, some symptoms point to a need to have our qualified optometrist check your eyes as soon as possible. Please contact us for an appointment if you experience any of the following:
Signs of macular edema:
- Straight lines seem to bend
- Difficulty seeing facial expressions
- Blurry central vision, such as when trying to read a clock
- Trouble with seeing at night
Signs of proliferative retinopathy (associated with bleeding into the middle of the eye):
- Loss of vision starting from one side, like a curtain closing from the side towards the center
- Sudden appearance of black floaters across your vision
Blood Glucose Control
By keeping your HBA1c (average blood glucose levels) in the target range recommended by your primary physician, you are protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of uncontrolled diabetes. Many research studies have confirmed the incredible health benefits of excellent and stable glucose control. Check your blood sugar regularly, follow your advised meal plan, and contact your doctor for assistance if your glucose readings change. This may indicate that your diabetes medication or regimen needs to be modified.
Aerobic exercise has demonstrated great positive impacts on diabetes management and on the body’s vascular function, which keeps blood circulation flowing efficiently through your whole body – including your visual system. With exercise, you can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, which also helps to remove extra strain from your eyes. To this end, a healthy diet, rich with vitamins and minerals, is similarly advised. Ask our Lake Forest eye doctors about whether you should take a multivitamin vision supplement.
Smoking also raises your risk for retinopathy and other diabetes-related ocular diseases, so kicking your nicotine habit is a great way to lower your chances of vision loss. Another healthy habit is to always wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from harmful UV light exposure.
Nowadays, advanced optometric technology allows our eye doctors to spot signs of diabetes in your eyes as soon as they appear. In addition, if you’ve already been diagnosed with a diabetic eye complication, we offer many cutting-edge treatments to help preserve your sight.
Contact us today for an appointment in our Lake Forest clinic, open 6 days a week.