Diabetes raises your risk of developing certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. Many of our patients ask how long does it take for diabetes to damage eyes? Actually, diabetes can have both short-term and long-term effects on your eye health.
In the short-term, high blood sugars can cause the lens of the eye to swell, leading to temporary blurry vision. The blurriness generally goes away within a short time after blood sugar levels return to normal. But long-term uncontrolled blood sugar levels can permanently damage the small blood vessels of the eye.
However, it’s not inevitable that every individual with diabetes suffers from sight-threatening vision damage! There are steps you can take to reduce your chances of eye disease and preserve your eyesight. Our eye doctor in Copperas Cove, Texas, strongly encourages everyone with diabetes to follow these guidelines:
Visit your eye doctor for yearly eye exams
Diabetic eye diseases typically present no symptoms during the early stages. Only a comprehensive eye exam can spot the signs. What exactly is your eye doctor looking at?
At our Copperas Cove eye clinic, our eye doctor will dilate your pupils to closely inspect your optic nerve and check the tiny blood vessels of your retina. If we detect the start of eye disease, we will recommend the most suitable treatment. So the earlier the disease is noticed, the earlier you will begin to benefit from sight-saving treatments!
Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
Controlling your blood sugar within the parameters recommended by your physician goes far towards preventing eye disease and vision loss. Tight blood glucose control is the key towards having sharp, healthy sight for as long as possible with diabetes.
Keep an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol levels
In addition to normal blood sugars, it’s essential to watch your blood pressure and cholesterol levels too. Both hypertension and high cholesterol increase your risk of eye disease and a range of other health problems. A good blood pressure goal for people with diabetes is under 140/90; if your doctor has prescribed medication to help control blood pressure, it’s important to be vigilant about taking it.
If you’re a smoker, it’s high time to quit! Smoking raises your risk of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases associated with diabetes.
Exercise keeps your body and your eyes in good shape. It is also an effective way to help control your diabetes. However, our Copperas Cove eye doctor cautions patients who already have eye problems to avoid exercises that can strain the blood vessels in your eyes, such as weight lifting or very high-impact activities.
At Cove Eyecare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 254-549-1142 or book an appointment online to see one of our Copperas Cove eye doctors.
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