This could potentially be a boring blog topic, but an important issue, none-the-less. So I’ll be short and sweet (no-pun intended). Diabetes, “The Sugar”, as we called it at school in Memphis, can wreak havoc on eyes. How?
The same small blood vessels that are in your toes, kidneys, and other organs also supply the retina (inner lining of the eye) with blood. When your blood sugar gets out of control, these vessels are damaged and leak blood and lipid into the retina, making it swell. When the retina swells, it becomes damaged and can die. This leads to permanent vision loss.
What’s the fix? Get your blood sugar under control immediately! I will work with your Primary Care Physician and medications can be adjusted if needed to lower your glucose levels. In many cases, treatment with lasers, or retinal surgery is necessary to protect the eye from further damage.
I see unnecessary, permanent vision loss in countless diabetic patients every month. Don’t let this be you! As a diabetic, it is your responsibility to monitor your glucose levels daily. Your team of doctors will work with you using medication and monitoring, but good diet and exercise habits are crucial to success in managing diabetes.
You MUST get a dilated retinal exam every 6 months to 1 year, depending on your Optometrist’s recommendation. There are no exceptions! Diabetic retinopathy can quickly cause irreversible damage that you may not be aware of. Your Optometrist is the only one who can identify these changes and get you help. Make your appointment and protect your most precious sense: sight!
November 14th is World Diabetes Day