When Eye Care For People with Diabetes is Critical

There are nearly 40 million people who have diabetes in the United States, according to the CDC’s diabetes statistics for 2023. While a range of health concerns are associated with the disease, one many people are less aware of is sight degeneration. Diabetes can lead to a range of eye complications, such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. At the Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield, we understand the importance of eye care for people with diabetes and offer efficient and modern eye care services to address diabetes complications.

What is Diabetes?

Before we dive into the importance of eye care for people with diabetes, let’s briefly discuss what diabetes is. Diabetes is a disease that negatively affects how your body processes blood sugar (glucose). With diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin and/or does not effectively utilize insulin to move glucose from the bloodstream to your cells, where it can be used for energy. If not properly managed, diabetes can lead to various health complications, including eye problems.

Beneficial Eye Care For People with Diabetes

As mentioned earlier, diabetes can lead to several eye complications. These are some of the most common eye problems that people with diabetes can experience:

  1. Diabetic Retinopathy: Occurring when blood sugar levels are too high, this condition can damage the smallest blood vessels in the retina. Over time, this can cause the blood vessels to leak or become blocked, leading to vision loss.
  2. Cataracts: Cataracts occur when the eye lens becomes cloudy, which can cause blurred vision. People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cataracts at a younger age than those without diabetes.
  3. Glaucoma: This term refers to a group of eye conditions that threaten the optic nerve. If left untreated, glaucoma conditions can lead to vision loss.

The Holtebeck Eye Center offers various eye care services to address diabetes complications. Our team, led by Dr. Aaron Holtebeck, has the latest technology and expertise to diagnose and treat these conditions. We use advanced imaging techniques to monitor changes in the retina and offer treatments such as laser therapy and injections to prevent vision loss.

Preventing Eye Problems

While we offer efficient and modern eye care services, we also believe in the importance of preventative care. Here are some tips for preventing eye problems if you have diabetes:

  1. Manage Your Blood Sugar: Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is one of the most important things you can do to prevent eye problems. Work with your healthcare team to develop a plan to manage your blood sugar levels.
  2. Get Regular Eye Exams: Regular eye exams are essential for detecting and treating eye problems early. People with diabetes should schedule a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year, according to the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations.
  3. Control Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can also increase your risk of eye problems. Work with your healthcare team to manage these conditions.

Choose the Holtebeck Eye Center for Your Diabetic Eye Care

Eye care for people with diabetes is critical. At the Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield, we offer efficient and modern eye care services to address diabetes complications. Dr. Holtebeck and the rest of our team are dedicated to providing eye care to ensure our patients receive the best possible outcomes. If you have diabetes, we encourage you to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with us today. Let us help you protect your vision and maintain your quality of life.

5 Ways For People With Diabetes To Take Care Of Their Eyes

If you have diabetes, it’s important to understand that the disease can affect your eyes in a number of ways. For example, high blood sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems. Additionally, diabetic retinopathy is a condition that can occur when the blood vessels in the retina are damaged, leading to vision loss. Cataracts and glaucoma are also more common in people with diabetes.

At Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield, we specialize in providing comprehensive eye care services, including diabetic eye care. Dr. Holtebeck and our team of eye care professionals have the expertise and experience to help those with diabetes to maintain healthy eyes and avoid eye problems that could lead to vision loss.

Schedule Regular Eye Exams

One of the most valuable things that people with diabetes can do to take care of their eyes is to attend regular eye exams. Annual eye exams are crucial for detecting eye problems early on before they become more severe. During an eye exam, our eye doctors can assess the health of your eyes and detect any changes that could lead to vision loss. These exams are especially vital for patients who have diabetes, as they are at a higher risk for developing eye problems.

Keep Regular Appointments with Your Primary Medical Doctor

Your visits with your primary care doctor are crucial in preventing complications from diabetes such as vision loss, heart attack, and stroke.  Monitoring your blood sugar through routine labs, as well as monitoring blood pressure and lipid profiles are a very part of care in all patients, especially for those with diabetes.

Avoid Smoking

Quitting smoking is another important step that you can take to protect your eyes if you have diabetes as smoking can increase the risk of eye problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that smoking increases the risk of developing eye problems, including diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness. Quitting smoking can reduce this risk and improve your overall health. 

Eat A Healthy Diet

Following a healthy diet is also crucial for patients with diabetes who want to maintain healthy eyes. A poor diet tends to increase blood sugar levels and can damage blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems. On the other hand, a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats has a variety of benefits. It can help keep your blood sugar levels and blood pressure in check, which can reduce your risk of eye problems. 

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is also important for maintaining healthy eyes. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check, and reduce your risk of eye problems. Be sure to talk with your doctor about what will work best for you, but most individuals can aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. 

Take Prescribed Medications

If you have diabetes, it is essential to take any medications that your doctor has prescribed. Following their guidelines and prescriptions can help manage your blood sugar levels and blood pressure. As mentioned, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can cause damage to blood vessels in the eyes. Additionally, it is critical to communicate with your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision, such as blurred vision or floaters, or if you have any other concerns about your eyes. This information will help them make any necessary corrections to your prescriptions and other health guidelines.  

Prevent Vision Loss Due To Diabetes

If you have diabetes, taking certain steps is essential for maintaining healthy vision. By getting regular eye exams, quitting smoking, following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking medication as prescribed, and communicating with your doctor, you can reduce your risk of eye problems and protect your vision. At Holtebeck Eye Center, we are committed to providing exceptional eye care for all of our patients. Schedule an exam with Dr. Holtebeck to learn more about diabetic eye care services.

Can I Repair Eye Damage From Diabetes?

As the hormone responsible for blood sugar regulation, insulin is incredibly important. As such, its disruption can negatively affect many body functions. Sight is one such function that can be greatly affected by diabetes. Signs of diabetic eye disease include blurry vision, floaters, dark spots, and increased difficulty seeing at night due to glare. These symptoms do tend to worsen if left untreated and may even lead to permanent vision loss. The best way to address any symptoms and prevent advancement will depend on your specific health history and should be discussed during an eye exam at the Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield. However, here we offer some basic tips for helping to prevent and address eye damage from diabetes. 

Manage Blood Sugar Levels

One of the main ways to help repair eye damage from diabetes, and manage diabetes more generally, is by controlling your blood sugar levels. When you have had diabetes for a long time, you may know that elevated blood sugar levels can cause what is known as a “sugar rush” that can damage blood vessels in the eye. This occurrence leads to diabetic retinopathy. If you are able to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range, you can prevent diabetic retinopathy before it can occur. Two of the best habits for managing blood sugar levels are eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising. Talk with your eye doctor about specific treatments for diabetic retinopathy.  

Consider Your Diet

Another thing that can affect your diabetes is diet. Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to manage diabetes symptoms as well as your general health. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know what foods are best for you and if you need to take any supplements. Because of this uncertainty and variations from person to person, we recommend visiting a dietician or nutritionist if you can. Access to such specialists is often available through your primary care office, so consider inquiring about this option if you have diabetes or are worried about the onset of it.  

Manage Stress

We are sure you will agree that this piece of advice is generally useful! Stress management is particularly beneficial for assisting in regulating blood sugar levels while also being great for your health overall. Increased stress leads to increased blood sugar levels that can cause or exacerbate eye damage. So, with that in mind, regularly take time for stress-relieving and relaxing activities like meditation and mindfulness.  

Schedule Regular Eye Exams

Most importantly for addressing eye damage from diabetes is to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams. These exams will allow for eye problems to be identified and addressed as early as possible. Doing so can allow for disrupting the advancement of diabetic eye disease before permanent damage occurs. One way we at The Holtebeck Eye Center check for diabetic retinopathy is through pupil dilation, which we will often administer as part of your regular eye exam. If any issues are identified, Dr. Holtebeck will discuss options for treatment with you. 

Learn More About Eye Damage From Diabetes

By seeking guidance from your eye doctor, and following it, it is possible to repair some less-advanced eye damage from diabetes. However, it is much more critical and effective to take steps to prevent diabetic eye disease in the first place. To do so, book an appointment with Dr. Holtebeck to discuss your eye health and best practices today. Together, we can work to prevent eye issues associated with diabetes.