May 5


Diabetic Retinopathy: How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

By Gabriela

May 5, 2021

Having diabetes can cause harm to the human eyes. It can cause diabetic retinopathy (diabetic eye disease). This is a condition where there is damage to the small blood vessels that are found in the retina due to diabetes mellitus.

Furthermore, having diabetes leads to an increased risk of certain eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma, etc. People might even not be aware that they are having some problems with their eyes until it gets bad.

Therefore, we should see our doctor and do regular eye exams. In case you have problems with your eyes, your doctor will prescribe the proper treatments and medicines.

Regular Eye Exams

At least once per year, you need to do an eye exam at an ophthalmologist i.e. eye doctor. The best thing to do is go to a doctor that has experience with people that have diabetes, and that takes care of them.

The Eye Exam Includes

Dilating of the eye for a better view of your entire retina. Bear in mind that only your eye doctor can do this exam for you.

Sometimes instead of the dilated eye exam, you can do special photographs of the retina. This type of photograph is known as digital retinal photography.

4 Things We Can Do to Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy

There is a way to avoid diabetic eye disease.

1. Control The Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar increases your chance of having eye problems. Moreover, high blood sugar can lead to blurred vision that has nothing to do with diabetic retinopathy.

This type of blurred vision occurs due to too much water and sugar in the lens of your eyes, which is in front of your retina.

2. Control The Blood Pressure

A good goal for people with diabetes is if they have blood pressure lower than 140/90. You need to check your blood pressure every time you have the possibility to do that, however, if not that at least check it twice per year.

Follow the instructions from your doctor on how to take drugs for control over the blood pressure, in case you take drugs.

3. Quit Smoking

You can talk to your doctor, and he/she will give you advice on how to stop.

4. Find Out Which Exercises To Do

In case you already have eye problems, consult your doctor about whether you should do exercises that may strain the blood vessels in the eyes.

Exercises that worsen your eye problems are high-impact exercises, like hockey and football, and also weight lifting.

Make Things Easier at Home

If you have problems with your vision due to diabetes, you need to secure the house. People with diabetes that have nerve problems in their feet and their legs combined with poor vision have problems with their balance.

In this case, there is an increased chance of falling.

In case you have problems reading the labels on medicines:

  • If you need to take your pills more than once on a daily basis, you can use a pillbox that has compartments for times of the day and also for every day of the week;
  • To read bottles easily, you can use felt tip pens in order to label your medicine bottles;
  • Use the magnifying lens to read the labels;
  • To differentiate your medicine bottles, you can use clips or rubber bands;
  • Ask your friends or relatives to give you the medicines.

If you are not sure if you are taking the right amount of medicine you need to consult your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse.

You can make the good organization of your medicines and in that way know which is which.

To Make Your Food That Is Part of Your Meal Plan

  • Consult your doctor for low vision aids;
  • Use cookbooks with large print;
  • You can use a full-page magnifier;
  • In case you want to use online recipes, simply use the zoom function to increase the font on the monitor.

Contact Your Doctor When

  • You start to see shadows;
  • Headaches;
  • You are not able to see properly in dim light;
  • You are not able to see other things on the side of the field of vision;
  • Blind spots;
  • You often have spots floating in the eyes;
  • In case of double vision i.e. see two things when there is usually only one thing;
  • You have a blurry or hazy vision;
  • Eye pain.

Source Medicine Plus | WebMD


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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