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Diabetes & Vision

Diabetes causes the body to lose the ability to self-regulate its blood sugar levels. Abnormally high or low levels of sugar can then occur in the blood. This variation in the blood sugar levels damages cells in the body. The small blood vessels in the eyes are especially susceptible.

To prevent damage to the eyes, you need to achieve the most stable glycaemic control possible. Your GP and/or Endocrinologist can order tests to measure you Glycated haemoglobin or HbA1c. This is a blood test used to measure plasma (blood) glucose concentration. It usually indicates the average blood glucose levels over the previous month to three months. To reduce the risk of developing eye complications, the target Hba1c levels are 7.0% or lower. It is also important to control you blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The best way to safeguard your eyes and eyesight from diabetes is to:
Make wise food choices
Take medications if needed
Have regular eye examinations

The most common changes that occur as a result of diabetes are bleeds in the retina called diabetic retinopathy. Other ocular changes that can occur with diabetes are macular oedema, damage to the small blood vessels of the optic nerve, weakness of the eye muscles which may cause double vision, occlusion of the retinal vessels and sudden vision loss, blurred vision (due to short term changes in the lens of the eyes) and an increased likelihood for glaucoma and cataract.