November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, making it the perfect time for us to share some information and tips to help those with diabetes maintain their eye health and vision.
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of the disease. These eye problems include cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic eye disease can affect anyone with diabetes and includes no early symptoms, making regular comprehensive dilated eye examinations crucial for those that have diabetes in preventing vision loss or blindness.
How Does Diabetic Eye Disease Affect the Eyes?
- Cataracts: Clouding of the lens of the eye that can make things look blurry, hazy, and less colorful.
- Glaucoma: Increased fluid pressure inside the eye that causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve, and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Damage to the blood vessels in the retina. This is the most common of diabetic eye disease conditions.
How Can I Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease?
The best defense against diabetic eye disease is an annual comprehensive eye examination with dilation. You can also stay on top of your diabetic eye health with TRACK, which stands for:
T – Take Your medications as prescribed
R – Reach and maintain a healthy weight
A – Add physical activity into your daily routine
C – Control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol
K – Kick Smoking
Here at the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, we are fortunate to have Dr. Prema Abraham, a leading physician in retina services, on our team. She dedicates much of her time to participating in clinical research trials linked to diabetic retinopathy that allow us to provide the latest treatments to our patients.