November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, which aims to increase awareness about eye diseases that can be caused by diabetes.
Did you know that people with diabetes are at higher risk for blindness and vision loss than those without diabetes? Diabetes can affect your eyes in multiple ways, from blurred vision to diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when there is damage to your retina and comes in four stages: mild, moderate, severe, and proliferative. At the advanced stage, new blood vessels grow in the retina and can rupture, causing hemorrhages. Then, scar tissue may develop and pull at the retina, causing more damage and even retinal detachment.
But diabetic retinopathy isn’t the only eye concern if you have diabetes. You may also be at risk for developing diabetic macular edema, which occurs when blood vessels start to leak into the macula, which leads to distorted central vision.
If you have diabetes, regular eye exams (at least one per year with eye dilation) are crucial to your eye health because diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74. You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy or other diabetes-related eye problems, but regular check-ups, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early intervention with any problems can help prevent severe vision loss. Don’t worry—scheduling an eye exam at EYE-Q is easy! Click here to get started.