Diabetes puts you at an increased risk of many other health conditions, but did you know it can also affect your vision? Whether you have type one or type two diabetes, you’re at an elevated risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy, all of which can cause vision loss or impairment.

In honor of Healthy Vision Month, our board-certified ophthalmologist in Manhattan wants you to know which vision problems impact the lives of diabetics the most. Diabetic eye care is an important part of your health plan. Dr. Basil Pakeman can help you successfully treat diabetes-related eye diseases.

Watch out for these three vision conditions as you age and your diabetes progresses:

1. Glaucoma

You are up to 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma if you have diabetes. That percentage can increase as you get older. The mounting pressure induced by glaucoma causes the natural drainage of your eye to slow down and build up, leading to pinched blood vessels. These vessels then have difficulty carrying blood to your optic nerve and retina. This results in gradual vision loss.

If you notice any sudden vision changes, please contact Dr. Pakeman. Our Manhattan office provides eye disease treatments and laser eye surgery.

2. Cataracts

Age-related cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness, and those with diabetes are 60 percent more likely to develop them at an earlier age. Cataracts cause your natural eye lens to become cloudy and prevent light from properly entering your eye. This eye disease often requires cataract surgery which removes your eye lens and usually replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL).

Cataract surgery could cause glaucoma to develop and worsen signs of diabetic retinopathy.

3. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a generic term for all vision conditions caused by diabetes. These mostly involve two types: non-proliferative and proliferative retinopathy. Non-proliferative is the most common and sometimes doesn’t require treatment, but proliferative is more dangerous and can cause retinal detachment or distortion.

There are several vision treatments for diabetic retinopathy. Speak with Dr. Pakeman to see what your treatment options are and if you might need laser surgery, such as PRK, to correct your vision.

You can lower your risk of developing severe retinopathy by keeping your blood sugar levels and blood pressure in check. The longer you have diabetes the more likely your vision will be affected.

If you’re experiencing vision changes, please call Dr. Pakeman immediately in Manhattan at 212-308-1566 to schedule your diabetic eye care consultation. Manhattan Surgical Care serves clients in Manhattan and New York City, New York and nationwide.