ft. Dr. Lauren Zimski, ophthalmology
Diabetes is a condition that prevents your body from producing the insulin it needs to bring sugar from the blood stream to cells, where it’s burned for energy. Over time, too much sugar — or glucose — in the blood can lead to heart problems, kidney problems, and nerve problems, especially in the hands and feet. Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision troubles and, potentially, blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness for everyone from college students to retirees. “I see quite a few people with diabetes who have complications in their eyes,” says Lauren Zimski, MD, an ophthalmologist with Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. “As diabetes damages blood vessels, it affects blood flow to the retina, leading to loss of vision.”