Diabetes type 2 is a common condition which causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high.
If left untreated, it can lead to heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, foot problems, miscarriage and stillbirth, kidney problems, and vision loss and blindness.
If you have diabetes, look out for these eye symptoms and follow these steps to prevent potential vision loss.
The first thing you should do if you’re concerned about eye problems is get your eyes screened.
Eye screening can detect problems with the eyes before you notice any changes to your sight.
Serious eye complications associated with diabetes are known as diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy can be quite advanced before it starts affecting your sight, so getting your eyes screened every year is “essential”, advised Diabetes UK.
All diabetic people in the UK over the age of 12 are entitled to an NHS eye screening once a year.
The second thing you should do to detect eye problems is look out for any changes to your eyesight.
One of the early signs of eye problems is seeing floaters – which look like whips clouds, floating in and out of your vision.
Another symptom is experiencing dimmer vision, which can seem like you’re wearing sunglasses all the time.
A further symptom is struggling to see when it’s dark.
“If you notice any changes, or you’re struggling to see as clearly as normal, make an appointment with your doctor straight away. Don’t wait until your next screening,” advised Diabetes UK.
Your eyesight can also get slightly blurry if your blood sugar level increases more than usual.
This is a normal symptom of high blood sugar and should return to normal once your blood sugar level has settled.
If you notice changes to your eyesight or are diagnosed with retinopathy, you can delay or prevent it from progressing if it is caught early enough.
In order to keep vision loss at bay, make sure you know your blood sugar level, as consistently high blood sugar will make you more at risk of eye complications.
Make sure you know what your target levels are and regularly check your blood sugar.
You should also keep on top of your cholesterol and blood pressure, as if these are too high they can also increase the chance of eye complications.
Finally, remember to eat a healthy diet, exercise and don’t smoke, as doing these things will keep your blood sugar in your target range.