Regularly seeing an eye doctor is important for everyone, but even more so for people with diabetes. Read on to learn why you should regularly see your ophthalmologist near Chicago and what else you can do to practice good eye care when you have diabetes.
Control Your Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a condition that is characterized by high blood sugar and problems with blood sugar regulation. When there is too much glucose in your blood, this can cause damage to your body, which includes the tissues of your eyes. For this reason, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is an important part of protecting your vision when you have diabetes. Doing this can help protect the blood vessels in your eyes and slow the progression of eye diseases. See your doctor at least twice per year for an A1C blood test, which measures what your blood glucose levels were for 2 or 3 months prior.
Manage Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can also be a contributing factor when it comes to diabetes and eye health. To help slow and prevent eye diseases that can be caused by diabetes, maintain healthy blood pressure levels by moderating your sodium intake, exercising, and staying at a healthy weight. If these practices aren’t enough to keep your blood pressure levels healthy, then ask your doctor about medications that help regulate blood pressure. To practice good eye care, aim for blood pressure that is under 140/80.
Visit Your Eye Doctor
Annual eye exams give your eye doctor a chance to catch the early signs of eye disease, something that is particularly important for people with diabetes. Many diabetics develop an eye problem called diabetic retinopathy, a condition that is a complication of diabetes and that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The early stages of this eye disease typically cause no symptoms, so seeing your doctor at least once per year for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is critical for protecting your eyes when you have diabetes.