Diabetes and Your Eyes
Have your eyes checked once a year. You could have eye problems that you haven’t noticed yet. Yearly exams may catch eye problems early so problems can be treated. Treating eye problems early can help prevent blindness.
High blood glucose can make the blood vessels in the eyes bleed. This bleeding can lead to blindness. You can help prevent eye damage by keeping your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as possible. If you already have eye problems, your eye doctor may be able to suggest treatments that can help.
The best way to prevent eye disease is to have a yearly eye exam. In this exam, the eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. When the pupils are dilated, or big, the doctor can see into the back of the eye. This type of exam is called a dilated eye exam and it doesn’t hurt. If you’ve never had this kind of eye exam before, you should have one now, even if you haven’t had any trouble with your eyes. Be sure to tell your eye doctor that you have diabetes.
Follow these tips to take care of your eyes:
- For adults and adolescents—10 years old and older—with type 1 diabetes: Have your eyes examined within 5 years of being diagnosed with diabetes. Then have an exam every year.
- For people with type 2 diabetes: Have an eye exam every year.
- Have an eye exam before becoming pregnant or as soon as possible after becoming pregnant.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Keep your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as possible.
See your eye doctor for a dilated eye exam every year. Early treatment of eye problems can help save your sight.
Tell your eye doctor right away if you have any problems like blurry vision or seeing dark spots, flashing lights, or rings around lights. source