Open Your Eyes to the Risks of Diabetes

Source from Blue Health Solutions Newsletter, from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Insurance

Yearly eye exams can prevent or delay one of the most devastating complications of diabetes: blindness. But all too often, people with diabetes put off visiting their eye doctor. As a result, they never see vision problems coming.

The good news? Proper eye care can reduce your risk for vision loss by 95%, even if you already have early-stage eye disease. Controlling your diabetes also protects your sight.UnderStAnding tHe ProBLemHigh blood glucose levels and blood pressure in diabetes can damage several parts of your eye. This includes the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of your eye. The resulting condition, diabetic retinopathy, blinds an estimated 25,000 Americans annually.Diabetes also may harm the lens that focuses your vision and your optic nerve, which sends signals between your eye and brain. And if you have diabetes, you also have:

• A 60% greater risk for cataracts

• A 40% greater risk for glaucoma.

Most eye problems caused by diabetes have no symptoms at first. Eventually, you may see floating spots, flashing lights or a dark curtain falling over your vision. If this happens, call your eye doctor immediately.

Your Vision Solution

Dilated eye exams can lower your risks. At these visits, drops in your eyes widen your pupils. This way, your eye doctor can look into the back of your eye for signs of trouble. Experts say everyone with diabetes should do this yearly.
Call your eye doctor and schedule a visit. Go each year even if your vision seems fine. If you have early signs of eye disease, laser treatments or surgery can preserve your vision.