Living with Diabetes – How to Take Care of Your Vision
Anyone living with diabetes knows how important it is to manage the disease. Yet many people don’t realize the far-reaching impacts that it can have on multiple biological systems. This disease can affect your eye health and cause vision loss or complications. But why does this happen, and what can you do to avoid it? Learn more about the connection between diabetes and vision, and find easy ways to improve your eye health and care for your vision.
How Are Diabetes and Vision Connected?
Blood vessels supply vital oxygen and nutrients to the delicate structures within your eyes. However, these tiny vessels are also susceptible, and sudden or frequent spikes in blood sugar can damage them. This damage leads to blurry or decreased vision with diabetes. As such, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts are common complications of unmanaged diabetes.
5 Ways to Care for Your Vision With Diabetes
Below are five ways you can improve your overall eye health and minimize the risk of developing diabetes-related vision loss.
1. Prioritize Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is vital if you have diabetes. It keeps your blood sugar in check, prevents sudden spikes and crashes, and helps lower your blood pressure and harmful cholesterol levels. Both high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels can cause blood vessel damage that negatively impacts your vision.
2. Protect Your Eyes
If you have diabetes, investing in a high-quality pair of sunglasses that offer 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays is a good idea. The UV rays from the sun can permanently damage the sensitive structures in your eyes. So, grab your sunglasses before going outside to keep your eyes protected all year long.
Everyone should protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. However, it’s essential for people with diabetes since they are predisposed to eye complications.
3. Get Adequate Exercise
Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is getting adequate exercise — any exercise. Regular physical activity helps control blood sugar levels, increases insulin sensitivity, and improves circulation. According to the CDC, people with diabetes should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. But you don’t have to become a gym rat to hit this practical goal. Even 25 minutes of brisk walking every day will improve your overall health.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking is a common vice for Americans, but it has detrimental effects on every bodily system, not just your eyes. For people with diabetes, the effects of smoking are even more harmful. Nicotine constricts and damages the capillaries and blood vessels that supply your eyes with the oxygen and nutrients they need. If you are a smoker, ditching the habit can improve your overall health and decrease your risk of diabetes-related vision loss.
5. Keep Up with Comprehensive Annual Eye Exams
Many skip annual eye exams because they don’t see their importance. However, annual comprehensive eye exams are critical if you have diabetes because they can catch early signs of diabetic retinopathy before any physical symptoms appear. It may be too late to fix the problem if you wait until your diabetes and vision worsen before getting an eye exam.
Is Your Eye Exam Overdue?
Whether a few months overdue or a few years, we can help get you on the right track with a comprehensive eye exam at Looking Glass Optical. So please don’t put it off any longer; reach out to us today to schedule your appointment.