Health is an interconnected web of factors. One aspect of health impacts another. People with blood sugar concerns know how important it is to take care of themselves to stay healthy. However, they may not realize that blood sugar levels can impact vision.
Too much blood sugar in your blood can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves — including the ones in your eyes. Retinopathy is caused when vessels leak or grow abnormally on the retina. It can lead to blindness. Macular edema can cause blurred vision and is caused by leaky blood vessels. One kind of glaucoma can also be caused by high levels of blood sugar. High blood sugar can lead to blood vessels growing on the iris and higher pressure in the eye. Cataracts are common as people age. It’s clouding that happens on the eye’s lens. Blood sugar concerns can speed up their development.
If you have blood sugar concerns, you can go to an eye doctor for a specialized eye test to ensure you are healthy. They can dilate your eyes to examine the health of your retina. Or, they can use a specialized camera to photograph the back of your eye and review it with AI. If you are going to the doctor for new glasses, check your blood sugar levels. Changes in blood sugar can cause swelling in your lens that will change your prescription. For accurate glasses, make sure your blood sugar is steady.
You should go for an eye test every year, even if you don’t notice a problem. Vision changes can be subtle and unnoticeable because of how slowly they occur. Catching a problem early can help you learn about it in time to get treatment and stop it from developing into something serious and irreversible.
To help lower the risk to your eyes, you should take care of your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. Quitting smoking can also lower your risk factors for blood sugar-related eye problems. A diet rich in vitamins A, C, E and zinc can support eye health.
You should have a conversation with your eye doctor about your vision risks. Specialized doctors often don’t know about our other health concerns. So, bring up your blood sugar concerns and ask about how that might impact your vision health. It’s essential to preemptively care for your eyes so you can “look forward” to your future!