If you or a loved one has diabetes it is essential to prevent complications that can permanently impact vision, below are 10 tips and strategies for patients with diabetes.
Maintain a healthy weight: Carrying excess weight can increase your risk of developing diabetes and its complications, including eye problems. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help to reduce your risk.
Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to improve your blood sugar control and reduce your risk of developing diabetes and its complications. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help to control your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes and its complications. Choose foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit your intake of processed and sugary foods.
Don't smoke: Smoking increases your risk of developing diabetes and its complications, including eye problems. If you smoke, consider quitting to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of complications.
Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for maintaining good health, including eye health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
See our optometrist regularly: If you have diabetes, it's important to see our optometrist regularly to monitor your eye health. You should see our optometrist at least once a year, or more frequently if recommended by your doctor.
Monitor your blood sugar levels: Maintaining good blood sugar control can help to prevent or delay the development of diabetes complications, including eye problems. Work with your healthcare team to monitor your blood sugar levels and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun: UV radiation from the sun can damage your eyes and increase your risk of developing cataracts and other eye problems. Wearing sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays.
Schedule an eye exam with advanced digital imaging: Look for an optometrist that has the latest technology such as an OCT which provides detailed imaging of the eye. These images will enable your eye doctor to diagnose any vision complications that may arise from your diabetes.
Follow your doctor's treatment plan: If you have diabetes, it's important to follow your treatment plan to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. This can help to prevent or delay the development of complications, including eye problems.
Diabetes can cause a range of eye complications, including:
Diabetic retinopathy: Causes and Prevention
Diabetic retinopathy occurs due to damage to the blood vessels in the retina, which can cause them to leak or close off, leading to vision loss. Proper management of diabetes, such as controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, can help prevent the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Regular eye exams with our optometrist can detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy and help prevent vision loss.
Cataracts: Understanding the Condition and Treatment Options
Cataracts are a common eye problem among people with diabetes, especially those with poor blood sugar control. Symptoms include cloudy or blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and poor night vision. Cataracts can be removed through surgery, and the lens can be replaced with an artificial one. Proper blood sugar control and wearing sunglasses can help prevent the development of cataracts.
Glaucoma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, a condition that can lead to permanent vision loss. Early symptoms may include eye pain, headaches, blurred vision, and loss of peripheral vision. Treatment options include eye drops, medication, and surgery. Regular eye exams can detect glaucoma early, and proper management of diabetes can help prevent the development of the condition.
Diabetic Macular Edema: Symptoms and Treatment
Diabetic macular edema is a common complication of diabetic retinopathy, in which fluid accumulates in the macula, causing swelling and vision loss. Symptoms may include blurred or distorted vision, difficulty reading, and reduced color vision. Treatment options include medication injections, laser therapy, and surgery. Regular eye exams and proper management of diabetes can help prevent the onset and progression of diabetic macular edema.
If you have diabetes, it's important to see our eye doctor regularly to monitor your eye health and catch any complications early. By managing your diabetes and following your treatment plan, you can reduce your risk of developing eye problems.
If you are looking for a comprehensive eye exam near you, it is crucial to choose a qualified and experienced eye doctor. A local optometrist or eye doctor who specializes in diabetic eye care and has experience working with patients who suffer from eye complications due to diabetes can provide the necessary care and support to manage your eye health and maximize your vision. To find a list of eye doctors in your area who offer comprehensive dilated eye exams, you can search online using terms such as "comprehensive eye exam near me" or "eye doctor near me." You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family, or consult with your primary care doctor for a referral. If you are able to, we recommend calling the optometry office and asking if they have an OCT, this advanced technology is extremely helpful for early detection and diagnosis of vision problems related to diabetes.