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The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Diabetic Eye Disease

The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Diabetic Eye Disease

Over 37 million people in the United States have diabetes; that’s about 1 in 11 people. Thanks to modern understanding and treatments, the disease is more manageable than ever before.

Still, it’s very important to tend to all areas of your health when you have it so you can prevent complications. Your blood pressure health is particularly worth managing. 

At Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Melanie Frogozo, Dr. Swati Kumar and their expert team diagnose and treat diabetic eye diseases to protect your vision and lower your risk of blindness.

Take a few minutes to learn about the link between high blood pressure and diabetic eye disease, including preventive steps to consider.

Diabetic eye disease 101

Also known as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic eye disease develops when blood vessels in your eyes get damaged due to uncontrolled blood sugar. If it goes untreated, it can gradually lead to total blindness.

Diabetic eye disease symptoms may include:

Many people experience these symptoms in both eyes, although symptoms usually don’t become apparent early on.

Eye effects of high blood pressure 

Even if you don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure can harm your eyes by damaging blood vessels in your retinas. Because your retinas allow you to focus on images, that damage can fuel vision problems associated with diabetic eye disease.

When you have diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugar levels, these risks are even higher — given that excess glucose in your bloodstream can also damage blood vessels. For these reasons, high blood pressure is a risk factor for diabetic eye disease. 

What to do about high blood pressure and diabetic eye disease

While the risks related to high blood pressure and eye disease can seem daunting, there’s a lot you can do to minimize them. 

To protect your eyes, vision, and cardiovascular health, follow your doctor-provided diabetes plan, including taking any prescribed medication as directed. Eat a nutritious, balanced diet, exercise regularly, manage stress, and prioritize healthy sleep habits. 

Meanwhile, don’t forget to schedule routine eye exams so any early signs of diabetic eye disease are detected and treated before things worsen. Depending on the specifics of any symptoms we find, your treatment plan may involve:

To learn more about diabetic eye disease or get the care you need, call Alamo Eye Care at 210-469-9744 or text us at 210-403-9050. You can also request an appointment through our website.

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