Living with diabetes requires a structured plan and routine. Being intentional about your diet, taking medications, even performing frequent blood tests in certain instances, all factor into this. What’s more, diabetes puts patients at a much higher risk of developing certain eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts.
The good news is that diabetics are not merely helpless passengers on a train destined for eye problems. Patients can take action to prevent or at least reduce the risk of eye issues in the future taking these simple steps.
Book An Annual Eye Exam
Prevention, as the well-known saying goes, is better than cure, and the quicker a developing problem is identified, the better the prognosis. Book a comprehensive dilated eye examination at least once a year. An examination is critical because in the early stages diabetic eye disease has no symptoms.
When a doctor examines a patient’s eyes via a dilated eye exam, they can examine more thoroughly the retina and the optic nerve. If there are any early signs of damage, this examination will highlight them long before the patient will notice any change in their vision. Regularly monitoring the health of the eyes allows an ophthalmologist to begin treatment as soon as possible if any signs of disease become apparent.
Pay Close Attention To Your Blood Sugar Levels
As a diabetic most patients are likely very focused on their blood sugar levels because allowing blood sugar level to get too high can have serious consequences for their eyesight. When blood sugar is too high, it can affect the shape of the eye’s lens, causing blurry vision. High blood sugar can also damage the blood vessels in the eyes. By maintaining good control of the blood sugar levels, these problems can be prevented.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Simply put, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can also be factors that can increase the risk of eye disease and vision loss. By focusing on keeping both under control, a patient will not only help protect their eyes but will also help to improve their overall health.
Give Up Smoking
We all know that smoking is bad for your health, but many people are unaware that smoking also increases the risk for diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related eye diseases. By giving up tobacco, a patient will significantly reduce that risk.
If you have read this far, you may well have guessed the final piece of advice. Exercise is not only good for your body, but it is also beneficial for both diabetes and the eyes. Regular exercise can help the eyes to stay as healthy as possible, while also helping to control diabetes.
Just because someone has diabetes, there is nothing to prevent them preserving their good vision. By actively managing the disease in partnership with an eye doctor, it is possible to drastically reduce the risk of other vision issues.