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World Diabetes Day – The effects of diabetes on our vision

Proactive diabetic eye care

This World Diabetes Day we want to raise awareness of the link between diabetes and vision.

Sight is not usually one of the first things we think of when it comes to diabetes, but the impact on vision can be considerable.

Diabetic retinopathy can affect anyone who has diabetes, whether they’re being treated with insulin, tablets or diet only.

It occurs when diabetes affects small blood vessels in the retina (the ‘seeing part of the eye’) which can become blocked, leaky or grow haphazardly.

The damaged blood vessels affect how your retina receives what you see, which is why people living with diabetic retinopathy see black spots everywhere.

If left untreated the condition can cause permanent damage to your vision. 

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss because generally there are no obvious symptoms until the condition reaches a more advanced stage.

It’s crucial to detect it early for treatment to be most effective, so you should attend your diabetic screening if it’s offered to you.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes you should have a sight test, and this should then be part of your annual diabetes review.

You can also protect your eyes by keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control with a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

These lifestyle changes can improve your general health and preserve your sight, enabling you to see better and live better for longer.

If you’re due your regular sight test remember to visit your local optician!

To find out more about how a sight test helps someone with diabetes, click here.