How to prevent diabetic eye disease

How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic retinopathy can cause serious vision loss and blindness.

There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or slow its progression.

1. Control your blood sugars

  • High blood sugars damage the retinal vessels and blood supply to the retina.
  • Hba1c (Hemoglobin a1c) is a blood test that informs you and your doctor of your average blood glucose levels over 3 months.
  • Maintaining an Hba1c less than 7 reduces your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and can help slow progression of your disease if you have already developed diabetic retinopathy.

2. Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol also damage the retinal blood vessels.
  • Follow up with your primary care physician to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels as you may need to be started on medications.

3. Maintain regular eye exams

  • A dilated eye exam at least once a year is needed to detect any diabetic eye disease early.
  • Even if your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure are well controlled, you need to maintain regular eye exams as diabetic retinopathy (and vision loss) can develop without any warning signs.

4. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

  • Eat a healthy diet: low in saturated fats, high in vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking

By controlling your diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and maintaining regular eye exams, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and protect your vision for your lifetime.

The doctors at Retina Associates of Florida provide the latest diagnostic and treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in their Tampa, Brandon and Lakeland offices.

The website/blog does not provide medical, professional, or licensed advice and are not a substitute for consultation with a health care professional.



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