Your 4-Step Defense Against Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’re at risk for this eye disorder. Here’s how to protect your vision.
- Keep your blood sugar in check
Work with your diabetes healthcare team to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Multiple studies have proven that people with diabetes who achieve good control lower their risk considerably.
- Rein in high cholesterol and high blood pressure
Both conditions can impair healthy circulation, including to the blood vessels in the eye, increasing the risk for diabetic retinopathy. Luckily, the same steps that help stabilize blood sugar—a healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction and so on—can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure. And if your primary care provider has prescribed medication, be sure to take it.
- Get regular eye exams
Remember, diabetic retinopathy can start silently, so a yearly dilated eye exam is your best bet for catching the disorder early on, when treatment is more effective.
- Know the signs—and report them
Call your doctor if you experience blurred vision, spots or floaters in your vision, dark or empty areas in your vision, or difficulty seeing at night.