Diabetic eye disease is a worldwide epidemic. More than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes. That is why this November, in honor of Diabetic Eye Disease Month, we’re taking every opportunity to educate our patients about the risks of diabetic eye damage and the importance of regular eye exams in prevention.
If you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing certain eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma , and cataracts. The good news is that you can preserve your vision and reduce your chances of eye disease.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, following these steps can help preserve your vision in the years to come.
1. Get a comprehensive dilated eye examination from your eye doctor at least once a year
In its early stages, diabetic eye disease often has no symptoms. A dilated eye exam allows your eye doctor to examine more thoroughly the retina and optic nerve for signs of damage before you notice any change to your vision. Regularly monitoring your eyes’ health allows your eye doctor to begin treatment as soon as possible if signs of disease appear.
2. Control 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.
3. Maintain 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 not only help your eyes but your overall health.
4. Quit 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 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. Although the seasons have changed and the temps are much cooler outside, there are still fun virtual exercising activities to try at home.
Protect Your Vision
To prevent eye damage from diabetes, maintain good control of your blood sugar. Follow your primary care physician’s diet and exercise plan. If you have not had an eye exam with an eye doctor, it is crucial to get one now. Be sure to never skip the follow-up exams that your eye doctor recommends. A lot of things can catch us off guard. Diabetic eye disease doesn’t have to.
A Pound of Prevention Is Worth an Ounce of Cure.
Celebrate Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month with GOOD Eye Care