Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the United States, with over 28 million adults and children diagnosed. But what is truly frightening is that about seven million Americans unknowingly have diabetes and are not monitoring their blood sugar.
Most people know that diabetes causes a number of health problems but did you know that diabetes puts you at serious risk for several eye diseases and even blindness? This is because high blood sugar causes the eyes to swell, affecting your ability to see.
Thankfully, by controlling your diabetes you have the ability to minimize any potential problems. Here are four ways you can protect your eyes when you have diabetes:
- Have yearly eye exams
Diabetic eye diseases are usually symptom-free in the early stages, which is why regular eye exams are so important. By dilating your eyes you doctor will be able to closely examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of damage. That way if they do find signs of disease you can begin treatment early.
- Monitor your blood sugar closely
As a diabetic, it is important to monitor your blood sugar closely so you can ensure it doesn’t get too high and cause damage to the blood vessels in your eyes. By monitoring and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels you can prevent these problems.
- Maintain healthy blood pressure
High blood pressure or cholesterol puts you at higher risk for vision loss. You should also avoid tobacco products, as smoking will increase your risk for diabetes-related eye diseases.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly
Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise is one of the best ways you can take control of your diabetes. A high-fiber, low-fat diet will keep your blood sugar down and help you feel full longer and exercise will lower your risk for heart disease or nerve damage.
Healthy habits can help you manage your diabetes and protect your vision. If you are interested in learning more about how you can actively manage your disease, schedule an appoint at our West Hills or Los Angeles office today.