Prevention

There are several reliable ways to lower your risk of impaired vision from retinopathy. First, get a yearly eye exam from an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist). Adults with type 1 diabetes need a dilated eye exam within five years after the onset of diabetes. Adults with type 2 diabetes need an eye exam shortly after diagnosis. Your eyes should be dilated for the exam. The early detection of any eye problems is critical to keeping your vision.

Second, keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible. The DCCT found the most striking results of intensive management in preventing retinopathy. The UKPDS showed that people with type 2 diabetes who lowered their blood glucose and blood pressure also lowered their risk of retinopathy. So the third step is to lower your blood pressure. The fourth is to stop smoking.

The bottom line, whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, is that you can significantly reduce your chances of developing retinopathy or of having your retinopathy worsen. See your eye care specialist if one of the following occurs:

your vision becomes blurry you have trouble reading you see double one or both of your eyes hurt you feel pressure in your eye you see spots or floaters you lose peripheral vision

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