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Diabetes and Eye Problems (cont.)

Preventing Eye Problems With Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association offers these eye care guidelines for people with diabetes to help prevent eye problems:

  • People with type 1 diabetes should have a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist within three to five years after diagnosis.
  • People with type 2 diabetes should have a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist shortly after diagnosis.
  • Annual eye exams should be done with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes by an ophthalmologist or optometrist; more frequently if necessary.
  • When considering pregnancy, women with a history of diabetes should have an eye exam prior and during pregnancy. This does not pertain to women with gestational diabetes.

To prevent eye problems in diabetes, you should:

  • Control your blood sugar
  • Control high blood pressure

When to Contact Your Doctor About Eye Problems in Diabetes

If you have diabetes, contact your doctor about any eye problems in if any of the following occur:

  • Black spots in your vision.
  • Flashes of light.
  • "Holes" in your vision.
  • Blurred vision.

WebMD Medical Reference

American Diabetes Association: "Eye Disease."
American Diabetes Association: "Mental Heatlh Problem Linked to Diabetes."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Take Charge of Your Diabetes."
Colucciello, M. Arch Ophthalmol 2005; 123:1273. Hernandez, C. Diabetes Care, 2006; 29:2028.
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on May 18, 2012
© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last Editorial Review: 5/12/2012

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