Over 3 million people in Canada are diabetic and over 5 million are pre-diabetic. Diabetes can affect the eyes in many ways, although the first symptom diabetics may encounter is fluctuation in vision. As the blood sugar levels in the body increase, it may cause a temporary hyperopic shift in a person’s prescription. While that may not seem too serious, every time it occurs it causes the lens within the eye to fill with water, which changes the uniformity of it. Eventually, this may lead to a cataract or opacity of the lens as well as a permanent decrease in vision. The only way to restore vision would be through surgery.
One of the major complications with high blood sugar is the damage it can do to the small blood vessels of the retina, causing hemorrhaging and macular edema, which can lead to vision loss or blindness. As diabetic retinopathy continues to worsen, it may also increase eye pressure and put a person at risk of developing glaucoma.
So firstly, it is very important to control blood sugar if you are diabetic to help prevent complications by exercising regularly and eating more low carbohydrate and plant-based foods.
Secondly, it is important to have your eyes examined at least once a year to maintain good ocular health. A dilated eye exam will check visual acuity, look for cataracts, thoroughly examine the retina and check pressures. An optometrist can examine your eyes, and manage your healthcare with your general practitioner, and if changes occur they can make the appropriate referral to a specialist.
Our team at Iris Eyecare would be pleased to assist you with booking an eye exam. Please visit our IRIS portal listing here on GoWestShore for all of our contact information.