If you have diabetes, it is critical to get to get a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis. Approximately half of all adults with diabetes experience diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of preventive blindness in working adults in the United States.
There are multiple manifestations of eye disease that afflict people with diabetes, so vigilance is pivotal says Dr. Rob Simons at Montana Eye Care in Helena. If you have diabetes, an eye exam annually is the standard of care.
November is Diabetic Eye Disease and Awareness Month. Here are six things to know about diabetic eye disease:
- It Affects People with All Types of Diabetes
Whether you have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, you are at risk for a host of eye conditions. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk becomes of developing ocular complications.
- There are Four Types of Diabetic Eye Disease
People with diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and glaucoma. Diabetics are twice as likely to get cataracts and glaucoma as the general public and get them earlier. Each of them is treatable if detected at an early stage.
- You May Not Experience Symptoms… at First
Even with diabetic retinopathy, you may not notice any change to your vision. An optometrist can dilate your pupils and evaluate your retinal tissue and vasculature to rule out any early blood vessel damage from the disease.
- Early Detection is Key
Great strides have been made in the treatment and management of diabetic eye disease in the last two decades. With advancements in technologies and medications, early detection can allow patients to retain and, in some cases, restore visual damage from diabetes.
- Live Healthy and Avoid Diabetes
It’s estimated that 29 million Americans have diabetes and 86 million have pre-diabetes. Those 86 million can avoid progression of the disease by making lifestyle modifications — improving diet, avoiding tobacco and increasing exercise is a great start. Diabetes is not preventable for everyone, but day-to-day changes in lifestyle can help prevent future systemic and ocular complications.
- Managing Diabetes Can Save Your Vision
Even if you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar, along with your blood pressure and cholesterol will help decrease your risk of developing diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes, it is essential you have your systemic health and eye health examined yearly. Contact Montana Eyecare today at (406) 443-2121 to make an appointment, or visit MontanaEyeCare.com for more information.
550 North Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Montana Eye Care
At Montana Eyecare, our professional eye care staff will be happy to assist you with your vision needs. We have treatment options available for everyone. Whether you are interested in making an appointment for a LASIK consultation, have cataracts, need an annual eye exam, or just need glasses, we can help!
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