People with diabetes need to be particularly concerned with protecting their eyes. The complications of diabetes pose several serious threats to the eyes. The major eye-disease risk for people with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, in which abnormal blood vessels grow across the retina, damaging and sometimes permanently destroying vision. One in every five Indian adults living in urban cities suffers not only from hypertension but also diabetes.
Diet, medication, and exercise are key to controlling diabetes and reducing the risks of retinopathy. High blood pressure increases the chances of developing retinopathy. Keeping close control of blood sugar levels is known to decrease a person's risk of progressive retinopathy. Anyone with diabetes who's at risk should be screened at least yearly for this eye disease, even if there are no vision symptoms. If caught early, advancement of retinopathy can sometimes be halted by laser treatments. Those recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes should have an eye exam soon after the diagnosis is made. It's common to have diabetes for some time before being diagnosed, and eye damage may already have occurred.