If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you will probably have been bombarded with information on how to manage the condition. But did you know that it can affect your eyes?

One potentially serious complication of the condition can be diabetic retinopathy. But what is it? And how can it be managed? The eye health experts at Specsavers Uckfield in the High Street explain…

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye. It is a complication of diabetes and, if undiagnosed and untreated, causes sight loss.

It can take some time for it to damage your sight, which means that if you get your eyes checked regularly you have a better chance of managing it.

Am I at risk?

If you have diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2, you are potentially at risk of diabetic retinopathy.

Your risk is greater if you have been diabetic for a long time, have consistently high blood sugar, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, are currently pregnant, or are from an Asian or Afro-Caribbean background.

What can I do to protect my sight?

You will need to manage your diabetes carefully, making sure that you keep your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.

You should also make sure that you attend your diabetic eye screening appointments on time each year so that any changes to your eye health can be identified quickly. And regular eye tests are important too.

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