Protecting Against Vision Loss

What can I do to protect my vision?

The NEI urges everyone with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may need an eye exam more often. People with proliferative retinopathy can reduce their risk of blindness by 95 percent with timely treatment and appropriate followup care.

A major study has shown that better control of blood sugar levels slows the onset and progression of retinopathy. The people with diabetes who kept their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible also had much less kidney and nerve disease. Better control also reduces the need for sight-saving laser surgery.

This level of blood sugar control may not be best for everyone, including some older adults, children under age 13, or people with heart disease. Be sure to ask your doctor if such a control program is right for you.Other studies have shown that controlling elevated blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of vision loss. Controlling these will help your overall health, as well as help protect your vision.

What should I ask my eye care professional?

You can protect yourself against vision loss by working in partnership with your eye care professional. Ask questions and get the information you need to take care of yourself and your family.

Remember to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

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