Diabetic Awareness | Eyes

November 14, 2022

It Takes a Team! Create the Best Health Care Team to Manage Your Diabetes

Chances are, you or someone you know is diabetic, but do you know the harmful effects it has on our vision? Diabetes is a disease that affects the blood sugar or glucose levels in our body and becomes too high for us to fight off on our own. According to the CDC, 37.3 million Americans have diabetes, and the growth rate is continually increasing. So, why should you have a health care team if you are diabetic? Diabetes does not just affect your blood sugar levels it also attacks your vision, heart and even your kidney function.

Follow these 5 tips to better manage your diabetes care:

   1. Remember: You are the center of your own care 

Learning more about what diabetes is and speaking with your primary health care provider to create a plan to a better lifestyle is the first step in generating awareness of the disease. 

   2. Early detection is key

Take action right away by scheduling yearly eye exams, getting regular blood work completed and seeing your health care providers regularly.

   3. Build your team

Besides a primary health care provider, your team can also include a retina or cataract specialist, a nutritionist or even a diabetic educator.

   4. Start small

Creating better eating and exercise habits is crucial to your health and will help your overall diabetic levels.

   5. Be active

Set goals for yourself and stay diligent to reach them. This will become easier with time and keep you positive as you reach them.

How do I know if my eyes are affected by my diabetes?

It’s simple, schedule an eye exam! Diabetes typically attacks the portion of our eye called the retina. This is the section of the eye at the very back that then connects to our brain. Individuals who suffer from diabetes can also see changes in the lens of their eye and this can cause progression of cataracts, which is the cloudiness of the natural lens in the eye. Many times, there are no signs or symptoms of diabetic changes in the eye until it is too late which can cause our vision to decline and never return fully back to normal. But don’t worry, this can be prevented by having annual dilated eye exams with your eye doctor and reviewing the treatment options that are necessary for the health of your eyes.

Even though there is not a cure for diabetes, your eye doctor can refer you to a retina specialist or cataract surgeon at Wolfe Eye Clinic where you will meet skilled physicians in the treatment and management of your eye health. Our ophthalmologists are located across Iowa and offer care in Ames, Ankeny, Carroll, Cedar Falls, Fort Dodge, Hiawatha (Cedar Rapids), Iowa City, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Pleasant Hill, Spencer, Waterloo, and West Des Moines. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call (833) 474-5850 or request information here.