The majority of people with diabetes do not suffer from any major eye problems. However some sufferers may develop cataracts, which cause vision to become misty. Cataracts can be successfully removed with a reasonably straightforward operation.
Glaucoma is another eye condition that can affect diabetics, just like non-sufferers. It is usually caused by too much fluid pressing on the nerve at the back of the eye. A routine test carried out by an optician can pick up the early signs of glaucoma.
Perhaps the most serious eye complaint that affects diabetics is retinopathy, a disease of the retina. It tends to strike sufferers with severe diabetes. Looking after diabetes and keeping blood pressure under control will help to reduce the chances of developing retinopathy which can lead to severe sight damage. Diabetics should ensure that their eyes are checked at least annually by a doctor or optometrist.
The best ways to prevent development of retinopathy are:
- maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
- check glucose levels as recommended
- attend annual diabetic review
- keep blood pressure, blood sugar and fat levels as near normal as possible
- do not smoke
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