Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month: Tips for Protecting Your Vision
Diabetes is a long-term condition that impairs your body’s capacity to convert food into energy. In other words, your body struggles to produce enough insulin–or does not use it properly–to manage your blood sugar. It can affect many other parts of the body if not managed properly, such as the heart, kidneys, and eyes.
Diabetic retinopathy is when diabetes begins to affect the eyes, damaging the blood vessels of the tissue in the retina. November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, a time when the American Association of Ophthalmology encourages those at risk of this disease to be proactive and protect their eyes.
If you have diabetes or are at risk, learn more about what causes diabetic retinopathy and how to protect your vision.
What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?
While diabetes is the main cause behind diabetic retinopathy, not all those with diabetes will develop it. With time, if diabetes is not managed properly, sugar in the blood can begin to block the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina. The eyes may attempt to build new blood vessels, but they often don’t develop properly. It can lead to vision impairment and even full vision loss if not treated.
How Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Prevented?
Diabetic retinopathy cannot always be prevented, but it is important to take these steps to reduce your risk and manage your diabetes as much as possible.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Check and record your blood sugar levels a few times daily to ensure they are at the proper levels. This will help you manage your diabetes and keep your levels stable.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
The key to managing your diabetes is living an overall healthier lifestyle. This means regular exercise and balanced, healthy meals. You may also need to take medication or insulin as needed.
Manage Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Maintaining a balanced lifestyle and a healthy weight can also benefit your blood pressure and cholesterol. Speak with your doctor if your numbers are still too high.
Schedule Regular Vision Exams
Be sure to visit your eye doctor regularly to ensure your vision is healthy and to check for any changes. Tell them if you notice any changes, such as blurry or spotty vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment from Central Valley Eye Medical Group
If you have noticed symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, schedule an eye exam right away. Contact Central Valley Eye Medical Group at (209) 952-3700 to schedule a consultation in Stockton or Manteca, CA.
Posted in: Diabetic Eye Care