Eye Care

Diabetes can harm your eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, the back part of your eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy (ret-i-nop-ah-thee). Diabetes also increases your risk of having glaucoma (glaw-koh-muh), cataracts (kat-uh-rakts), and other eye problems.

Signs of Problems
You may not know there is any damage to your eyes until the problem is very bad. Your doctor can catch problems early if you get regular eye exams. If your doctor finds eye problems early, drugs and other treatments may help prevent them from getting worse. 
Preventing Eye Problems 
  • Control your blood sugar levels
  • Control your blood pressure
  • If you smoke, get help to quit

Working with existing eye problems
If you already have eye problems, ask your doctor if you should avoid some exercises that can strain the blood vessels in your eyes. These exercises may make eye problems worse: 
  • Weight lifting and other exercises that make you strain
  • High-impact exercise, such as football or hockey

Make It Easier for Yourself at Home 
  • Make sure your home is safe from falls
  • Label your medicines with large print so that you can read them easily
  • Ask someone else to give you your medicines
  • Use a pill box with compartments for days of the week
  • Use large print books or read with a magnifying glass
  • Regular Eye Exams
  • The eye exam may include:
  • Adding special eye drops to enlarge your pupil, called dilating your eyes, so the eye doctor can get a good view
  • At times, special photographs of the back of your eye
  • Your eye doctor may ask you to come more or less often than once a year.

When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if:
  • You have double vision (you see 2 things when there is only 1)
  • You cannot see things on the side of your field of vision
  • You cannot see well in dim light
  • You have blind spots
  • Your vision is hazy or blurry
  • You have pain in your eyes
  • You see shadows
  • You are having headaches
  • You see spots floating in your eyes