Did you know that diabetes affects the health of your eyes?
“Diabetic eye disease is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness.” remarked ophthalmologist, Dr Uys. “Good blood glucose control is the most effective way to reduce diabetic complications, including problems with your eyes.”
Diabetes affects the cells that line the blood vessels throughout your body, especially those small vessels in the eyes (microvascular system). This restriction of blood flow to the cells in the back layer of your eyes can cause damage to the nerves too. The damage is not immediately obvious, you can have a normal vision while your eyes are being affected. In fact, by the time you notice a change in your vision the damage is quite advanced, so the possibility of reversing the damage is limited and the risk for blindness greatly increased!
Dr Uys commented, “The only way to find out how your diabetes is affecting your eyes is to have a dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist.” As soon as you are diagnosed with diabetes we recommend consulting an ophthalmologist who will assess your eyes and establish a baseline. This baseline may include photos and scans of the back of the eye to have for future reference. They will then work with you and your physician to minimise the impact diabetes has and protect your vision. An annual dilated eye examination will identify any areas of concern and treatment plans can be made.
On World Diabetes Day we encourage all those living with Diabetes to focus on the lifestyle decisions that will ensure controlled blood sugar levels. In turn, this will protect their vision to see the future clearly. Learn more and get support at Diabetes South Africa https://www.diabetessa.org.za