Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? We want to inform our patients that it is also Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, founded in 1998 by Prevent Blindness, making it a great time to shine the spotlight on prevention for patients diagnosed with diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that diabetes affects about 37.3 million people in the United States. That equates to 1 in 10 people living with diabetes, and about 1 in 5 people with diabetes don’t know they have it.
How Can I Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetes increases the risk of many health concerns, but vision loss is the most common and preventable. When you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing certain eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. The good news is that you can reduce your chances of eye disease and preserve your vision.
Here are a few steps from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to include within your lifestyle to preserve your vision in the years to come.
Please Don’t Delay Your Eye Health and Schedule a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam TODAY.
In its early stages, diabetic eye disease often has no symptoms. A dilated eye exam allows your eye doctor to examine the retina and optic nerve more thoroughly for signs of damage before you notice any change in your vision. Regularly monitoring your eyes’ health allows your eye doctor to begin treatment as soon as possible if signs of disease do appear
Take Control of Your Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar is too high, it can affect the shape of your eye’s lens, causing blurry vision, which goes back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. High blood sugar can also damage the blood vessels in your eyes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps prevent these problems.
Keep a Healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can put you at greater risk for eye disease and vision loss. Keeping both under control will help your eyes and overall health.
Kick the Habit and Stop Smoking
If you smoke, your risk for diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related eye diseases is higher. Giving up tobacco will help reduce that risk.
Exercise for Your Health
Exercise is good for your eyes. It’s also good for your diabetes. Regular exercise can help your eyes stay as healthy as possible while helping to control your diabetes. Take a walk, bike ride, or have fun being active at the park to enjoy a beautiful fall day.
We want our patients to enjoy a high quality of life while managing their diabetes. We are your eye health partners in diagnosing and managing diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes, even if you are not experiencing any eye symptoms, schedule a comprehensive eye exam TODAY to protect yourself from preventable vision loss.