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Staying Healthy

Your Eyes

Doctor and eye chart

Taking care of your eyes

You may have heard that diabetes can damage your eyes. It can even cause blindness. There is a lot you can do to help prevent eye problems.

What kinds of eye problems can diabetes cause?

  • Diabetic retinopathy – weakening of the tiny blood vessels in the retina (at the back of the eye). Blood may leak into the retina, causing loss of vision
  • Glaucoma – buildup of pressure in the eye
  • Cataract – clouding of the lens in the eye


What can you do to protect your eyes?

1) Manage your blood sugar
Keeping your blood sugar under control is the best way to prevent eye problems or slow them down. Work with your health care team to keep your glucose levels as close to normal as you can.

2) Control your blood pressure
If your blood pressure is high, work with your provider to find ways to lower it. Lowering your blood pressure can also help prevent or slow down eye problems.

3) Get a comprehensive eye exam once a year
This type of exam checks your vision and much more. It can find eye problems early. When eye problems are caught early, they can often be treated. You should get a comprehensive eye exam every year even if your vision seems fine.

Treating Diabetic Eye Disease
Treating eye problems early can help save your sight. Laser surgery may help people who have advanced diabetic eye disease. An operation called a vitrectomy may help those who have lost their sight from bleeding in the back of the eye. If your sight is poor, an eye provider may be able to give you glasses or other devices that can help you use your limited vision more fully.

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