Recent studies have found that high blood sugar levels can affect your eye health.
However, many people with diabetes often overlook their eye examinations during their visits to doctors.
This may cause eye diseases and even lead to blindness.
Rita Rastogi Kalyani, M.D., M.H.S., a Johns Hopkins diabetes expert, provides tips to protect eye health from diabetes.
According to her, elevated blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina. The damage is called diabetic retinopathy, and it can start years before you have vision symptoms.
It can lead to diabetic macular edema, which is a leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes.
It is estimated that about 40% of people with diabetes have some degree of retinopathy.
Another eye problem diabetes may cause is cataracts, which makes the clear lens of the eye become cloudy, blocking out the light.
The researcher offers several strategies to protect eye health in people with diabetes.
Control your blood sugar levels.
People with diabetes should work with their doctor to keep blood sugar levels healthy.
This can be achieved by following a healthy eating plan, get regular exercise, and take medications as directed.
Research has shown that lowering blood sugar levels could reduce microvascular complications like eye disease by 25%.
Control your blood pressure.
Prevention of high blood pressure could help protect tiny blood vessels in your eyes from further damage and reduce your risk for vision loss.
Have your eyes examined regularly.
The researcher suggests that a dilated eye exam could reveal eye changes early. Early detection gives you time for treatments. You can do laser therapy to protect your eyes.
Don’t smoke tobacco.
Previous studies have found that tobacco use may add to eye damage.
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