Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month: Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that are characterized by the body’s inability to effectively produce insulin, which causes elevated levels of blood glucose. If a person living with diabetes does not adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors, their condition can lead to handful of serious health complications.
This November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, an annual campaign that helps raise awareness about the dangers of vision loss brought on by diabetes. Today, diabetes is currently the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans.
Glaucoma and cataracts may develop in patients living with diabetes. However, diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease among diabetic patients, affecting 5.3 million Americans over the age of 18. To commemorate Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, here are three ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy:
Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month- Prevention Tip #1: Manage Your Diabetes
Adequate exercise is extremely important in managing your diabetes. Aim for roughly 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Your doctor may prescribe you insulin or oral medication, which can also help regulate your blood sugar. Find a balance between diet, exercise, and medication to help prevent further complications.
Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month- Prevention Tip #2: Control Your Levels
Patients living with diabetes know the importance of monitoring both their blood sugar and blood pressure. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep your levels in check. Although high blood pressure may not be a direct threat to your vision, keeping your blood pressure within a safe range can help you avoid complications associated with diabetes.
Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month- Prevention Tip #3: See a Specialist
It is important to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist or optometrist at least once a year. While regular screening will not prevent diabetic retinopathy, early detection and treatment can help you avoid vision loss. Symptoms of the complication include blurred vision, spots or floaters in your vision, and eye pain. However, not all patients experience symptoms so it is best to have your eyes regularly checked.