LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -Diabetes affects the body in many ways, but one common complication of diabetes can actually lead to blindness.
If you have diabetes, prevention of eye diseases related to diabetes is a priority.
“Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in working class Americans,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Vinay Shah. “About 30 million people in the country or about 9 to 10 percent of the country has diabetes. About 4 to 5 million people probably have diabetic retinopathy.”
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye. There are some symptoms to look out for.
“Decreased vision, floaters, lack of visual field deficits,” said Shah. “If you have cataracts then you may have problems driving at night and focusing.”
Dr. Shah says that when someone has mild diabetic retinopathy, there can be no symptoms. Which is why he says seeing your doctor regularly should be a priority. He says pregnant women especially need to get checked every trimester.
“Pregnancy is one of those situations where your diabetic retinopathy can accelerate very quickly,” said Shah. “And also it is very important to control your blood sugar during pregnancy because it’s better for your child.”
Shah says controlling your blood sugar is one way to help prevent vision loss.
“If you have diabetes and we are your eye care providers, the way we look at it is teamwork,” said Shah. “You do you part to control your Vasculopathic risk factors and we do our part to keep your vision in place.”
If you have diabetes and would like to schedule an appointment with the Dean McGee Eye Institute at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, you can call 250-5855.