November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month, a good time to update your Rand EYE-Q.
If you have diabetes, you should know that it can affect the retina, when that occurs the result is Diabetic Retinopathy, the number one cause of blindness in the world. Even patients with well-controlled diabetes can develop diabetic changes in their retina over the years.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:
- Transient blurred vision, often linked to blood sugar level fluctuation
- Floaters and flashes of light
- Gradual or sudden loss of vision or blind spots in the vision
Over time, diabetes can affect the circulatory system of the retina. In this phase, the arteries in the retina become weakened and leak, forming small dot-like hemorrhages. If the disease progresses, leaking vessels can lead to swelling (edema) in the retina and decreased vision.
There is treatment depending upon the stage of the disease and the specific problem that requires attention. Prevention comes about when those with diabetes are able to maintain “normal” blood sugar levels more often. Diet and exercise play important roles in the overall health of those with diabetes.
Diabetics should continue this discussion with their ophthalmologist. Schedule regular eye examinations and learn their options. More than 26 million children and adults in the U.S. alone are affected by diabetes but it doesn’t have to be vision changing. Follow some simple suggestions:
Stay on T.R.A.C.K. with your diabetes by:
- Taking your medications.
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Adding physical activity to your daily routine.
- Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Kicking the smoking habit.
Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Rand Eye Institute to stay ahead of vision problems.