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Diabetes & Your Eyes


Diabetes is a chronic disease that prevents your body from making or using insulin, which in turn leads to increased sugar levels in your bloodstream, known as high blood sugar.

Diabetes and its complications can affect many parts of the eye. Diabetes can cause changes in farsightedness, nearsightedness, and premature presbyopia (the inability to focus on objects close by). It can result in glaucoma, cataracts, and paralysis of the nerves that control the eye muscles. Visual symptoms of diabetes include occasional double vision, loss of visual field, flashes and floaters within the eyes. Sometimes these early signs of diabetes are first detected in a thorough examination performed by our office staff. The most serious eye problem associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the retina change, resulting in blood leakage, the growth of new blood vessels and other changes. If diabetic retinopathy is left untreated, blindness can result.

Can vision loss from diabetes be prevented?

Yes, in a routine eye examination, the staff at Virginia Vision Therapy Center can diagnose potential vision threatening changes in your eye that may be treated to prevent blindness. However, once damage has occurred, the effects are usually permanent. It is important to control your diabetes as much as possible to minimize your risk of developing retinopathy.

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