Did you know diabetes affects nearly 30 million people in the U.S.? What’s even more startling is that nearly 1 in 4 people aren’t even aware they have the condition.
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. As we get closer to the holiday season…and the sugary sweet treats, we thought it was the perfect time to address the impact of diabetes on eye health.
If diabetes are a part of your family history, it’s even more reason to monitor for early signs, some that are showcased in your eyes. Early detection is a powerful key!
How does Diabetes affect your eyes?
Diabetes seriously impacts many aspects of your health. Having high blood pressure means you are prone to conditions like blurry vision, cataracts and retinopathy, which can cause irreversible damage or surgical correction to your vision.
Most of the time, we associate these symptoms with age; however, if you are diabetic, these issues can creep up much sooner in life than anticipated. If left untreated, these problems can cause permanent blindness and greatly impact your quality of life.
How can I protect my eyes from diabetes?
We are kind when it comes to protecting your eyes. The best way to protect your eyes from diabetes is to stay on top of your blood sugar and your overall health.
Here are some more ways to protect your eyes from diabetes:
- Schedule an eye exam 2x per year. – Early detection is key to preventing other health risks.
- Keep your blood sugar under control. – Slow the damage done to your blood vessels in your eyes.
- Monitor high blood pressure. – For most people with diabetes, it should be less than 130/80.
- Check your cholesterol levels. – Too much LDL is linked to blood vessel damage.
- Eat for wellness. – Fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains are ideal.
- Quit smoking. – Smoking causes damage to eye blood vessels.
- Exercise more. – Movement has major impact on your blood sugar.
If you’ve put off a routine eye exam for too long, especially if you have diabetes, now is the time to schedule your comprehensive eye exam at one of our many convenient VisionFirst locations.