Did you know that diabetes can cause permanent loss of vision, such as blindness, and require the use of laser treatments and eye injections?
Diabetes, and pre-diabetes, are conditions that cause the body to have high blood sugar (glucose) levels. High levels of blood sugar damages the tiny blood vessels all throughout the body. The eye has many of these tiny blood vessels inside of it to supply nutrients that help us see. Damage to the tiny blood vessels of the eye can cause bleeding and swelling to the most important parts of our eyes that help us see clearly. Maybe you have heard your diabetes doctor mention that you should have an eye exam? The reason that they make this recommendation is because an eye doctor can evaluate the tiny blood vessels to see if there is any damage from the high blood sugar levels
The best way to see if you have eye problems from high blood sugar is to have a dilated eye examination done by your eye doctor. Why is a dilated eye exam necessary? A routine examination that only checks for glasses or contact lenses does not fully check for damage to the eye from high blood sugar. A dilated eye examination allows the eye doctor to closely check the health of the inside of the eyes to look for signs of diabetes.
What is very important to know is that you can have damage to the eye from high blood sugar levels even if your vision feels perfectly normal. High blood sugar does not always affect your vision because it can cause damage in multiple areas of the eye. Common symptoms that people with high blood sugar experience is fluctuating vision throughout the day, blurred vision, or distorted vision. Additionally, people that have high blood sugar have higher chances of developing cataracts earlier in life compared to someone that does not have diabetes.
It is very important for any patient with high blood sugar, diabetic or pre-diabetic, to know that diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States. It is also important to know that diabetes can cause permanent blindness even if blood sugar levels are considered controlled. The medications that are prescribed by your doctor are helping to keep the blood sugar levels close to a normal range; however, these medications do not cure diabetes. Frequently checking your blood sugar is a great way to see how your blood sugar changes throughout the day. Lastly, two of the most important, and sometimes most difficult, things to do to help control high blood sugar is having a well-balanced diet and increasing physical activity such as exercising (walking, biking, swimming).
Controlling blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication are important parts to protecting your vision and eye health. Additionally, supplements and vitamins can help to promote healthy vision and eye health; however, not all eye supplements and vitamins are beneficial for patients with high blood sugar. DVS by EyePromise is a supplement that has been shown to be beneficial for supporting improved vision and eye health with diabetic patients and is recommended by our doctors at Grand Eye Care.