November is National Diabetes Month. In recognition of this, I would like to make you aware of some of the ways diabetes affects the health of your eyes.

Diabetes is defined as: “A group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both.” Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Americans under 74 years of age. 3 out of 4 people with diabetes will develop diabetic eye disease. Diabetics with eye disease report problems with their vision at work and with home-related tasks, which ultimately limits their productivity in normal daily activities.

Diabetes can cause cataracts, retina disease, cornea disease, and has been associated with glaucoma. All of these diseases can cause vision problems and even blindness. The only way to ensure diabetes is not affecting your eyes is to have a comprehensive eye health exam each year (more often if diabetes is uncontrolled).

Patients who have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes may experience symptoms such as:

  • 1) Unexplained changes in vision
  • 2) Unexplained weight gain
  • 3) Excessive or unexplained hunger, thirst or the need to urinate
  • 4) People at high risk for Diabetes typically have a Body Mass Index greater than 26 (Body Mass Index is a factor of weight and height – to calculate yours, go to www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi)

Prompt diagnosis of diabetes can give patients multiple opportunities to battle this disease. If you have any questions regarding diabetes and your eye health, or the eye health of a loved one with diabetes, contact my office for more information.


Author: Dr. Matthew Skrdla

Other vision articles by Dr. Matthew Skrdla
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Eye on Health – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Is Eye Sight Inherited?
Medications Can Have Side Effects That Affect Your Eyes

Spex Optical and Foothills Eye Care, PC
712 Whalers Way, Fort Collins CO

Fort Collins, Colorado – Eye Doctor – Optometrist – Vision Source