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Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (Glucose). Prolonged high levels of glucose in the blood can lead to a host of health problems. Diabetes may damage the heart, kidneys and both the larger blood vessels in the body and the very small, fragile vessels in the eyes. Over time, diabetes can cause damage to your retina and may lead to poor vision and even blindness. ‘
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is the umbrella term used for several eye problems that can result from diabetes. The most serious diabetic eye diseases begin with blood vessel problems, the four that can threaten your sight are; diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and some types of Glaucoma:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that ninety percent of vision loss from diabetes can be prevented through early detection. For people with diabetes, it is important that they have annual eye exams, even in the absence of vision loss. Studies have shown that sixty percent of those living with diabetes are not getting exams as recommended by their eye doctor. To prevent eye damage from diabetes, it is very important to maintain good control of your blood sugar, follow your General Practitioner’s advice on diet and exercise and most importantly have regular eye exams.