Click here to see our COVID19 protocols

The Link Between Diabetes and Vision Problems

You might not automatically associate eye problems and diabetes — not too surprising, considering diabetes is primarily a hormone-related (insulin) disorder and you don’t often hear about hormones affecting eyesight. 

However, when left untreated, diabetes can lead to a variety of complications that seem totally unrelated. Nerve damage, open sores, kidney damage, and even amputation are a few examples. 

Retinopathy, a long-term complication of diabetes, involves damage to blood vessels in the eyes and can lead to blindness. The expert ophthalmologists at Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, have treated many patients with diabetic retinopathy and are eager to educate people with diabetes before it’s too late. 

How does diabetes cause eye problems?

Diabetic retinopathy, sometimes simply referred to as diabetic eye disease, develops when blood sugar levels elevate and remain too high. Chronically high blood sugar, which is what ultimately causes diabetes, can damage the blood vessels in your retina — the part of your eye that sends visual signals to your brain.

When the blood vessels within your retina become damaged, they can leak fluid and warp your vision. Because of your retina’s crucial role in eyesight, damage can cause permanent blindness.  

Who can get diabetic retinopathy?

Anyone with any form of diabetes is at risk for diabetic retinopathy if they don’t manage their diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the more your risk for retinopathy increases. 

How to prevent and treat diabetic eye disease

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition, but take note that you can prevent it by managing your diabetes. Diabetes management involves eating a healthy diet with limited sugar, exercising regularly, keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, quitting smoking if you smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes, regularly checking your blood sugar levels, and taking your diabetes medicine as directed. 

If you’re in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your ophthalmologist will probably just keep close tabs on how your eyes and vision are doing. You may need a dilated eye exam every few months to make sure you aren’t progressing toward more serious stages of retinopathy. 

If you’re already experiencing the later stages of diabetic retinopathy, there’s no way to restore lost vision, but proper treatment and management can prevent your vision from further worsening. 

If you think you have diabetic retinopathy, visit Paragon Eye Associates as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment by calling our Arlington location at 817-631-9824 or the Mansfield office at 817-662-7979. You can also send the team a message here on our website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Two Kinds of Dry Eye

Millions of Americans suffer from dry eye, but it’s likely that many people don’t realize there are two different types of the condition: evaporative and aqueous. What’s the difference, and how does it affect your treatment options?

Can Glaucoma Lead to Blindness?

Glaucoma is sometimes called “the silent thief of sight.” However, a glaucoma diagnosis doesn’t condemn you to a life without vision. Take a few moments to learn more about how to prevent glaucoma-related vision loss.

When to Seek Treatment for Floaters

There it is again, that little gray speck that floats across your field of vision. It’s called a floater, and floaters are usually benign, but they can be a sign of a serious eye problem. Find out when to seek treatment for your floaters.

What Does LASIK Feel Like?

Does the idea of waking up in the morning and being able to see without reaching for your glasses appeal to you? If you've been thinking about LASIK but have concerns about what to expect during the surgery, take a moment to learn more about it.

Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight” for a sad truth behind it. Glaucoma gradually damages your vision before you ever notice a problem. So, are there any warning signs you should be looking out for?

What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. If you’re one of the millions of people who need cataract surgery to restore their vision, take a moment to learn what to expect after your procedure.