Asian woman rubbing her eyes

Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to diabetic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma. Therefore, take good care of your eyes and look out for any sign of trouble. Left untreated, you may lose your sight and become blind.

Tips to Look After Your Eyes

Doctor checking a senior patient's eyes

  • The first and most important step is to keep your blood glucose levels under tight control. You are less likely to get diabetic eye diseases if your blood glucose levels are close to normal.
  • See your eye doctor for an eye examination (with dilation of your pupils) at least once a year. Having your vision checked by an optician is not enough.
  • Go to a doctor or the hospital if you:
    • have blurry vision (like you’re looking through a dirty window)
    • can’t read bus numbers or newspapers clearly
    • see double
    • have painful eyes
    • have red eyes
    • feel pressure in your eyes
    • see spots, flashing lights or rings
    • have a headache that does not go away
    • can’t see things at the side of your vision
  • Check your blood pressure often and keep it under control. High blood pressure can make eye problems worse.
  • Do not smoke. If you need help to quit smoking, call Quit Line at 1800-438 2000.

Related: Bright Eyes, Healthy Eyes

Already Have Eye Problems? Exercise Greater Care in Your Daily Life

Senior taking her medicagtion

  • Make sure your home is safe. You are more likely to trip and fall from poor eyesight and nerve problems in your legs as a result of diabetes.
  • Use a marker to label medicine bottles and packets clearly
  • Read labels with a magnifying lens
  • Get your family to help out if you have trouble reading labels clearly
  • If you need to take many different medicines more than once a day, use a pill box to organise them.
  • Avoid weight lifting and high impact exercises such as aerobics and football. They can make your eye problems worse.
  • Ask your doctor if you are not sure what exercises are safe for you

With proper care and regular check-ups, you can continue to enjoy good vision.


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