Diabetes is a serious disease of the body that affects all of its systems, including vision. High blood sugar destroys the walls of the smallest capillaries in the eyes. As a result, the disease begins – diabetic retinopathy. High sugar levels in diabetes can also lead to cataracts or glaucoma.
To see well and to prevent diabetes from affecting eye health, you need to monitor your vision. Here are 7 tips to help you control your condition and protect your eyes.
- Get a routine check-up with an ophthalmologist at least once a year. This is necessary so that the doctor can identify the disease in a timely manner and begin treatment. During the examination, the doctor will check the visual acuity and assess the condition of the blood vessels in the fundus.
- Control blood sugar levels to reduce the rate at which blood vessels break down. Do a glycated hemoglobin (A1c) test several times a year to track your blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months. The analysis is considered quite reliable, since the analysis error is only 7%.
- High blood pressure can cause eye disease , so watch out for it. If diabetes is added to high blood pressure, take special care of your health. Ask your therapist to measure your blood pressure at each appointment. In most diabetic patients, it should be no higher than 140/80.
- Check your blood cholesterol levels. A blood test measures the level of “good” (LDL) and “bad” (HDL) cholesterol. Elevated HDL cholesterol levels are associated with vascular impairment, so remember to monitor this parameter.
- Eat right . Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. If you cannot abruptly give up your usual food, contact your dietitian – he will help you gradually switch to a healthy diet, advise what time to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, tell you how much portions should be when taking insulin.
- Stop smoking. Smoking causes problems with the vessels of the eyes and increases the likelihood of developing diseases. Quitting a bad habit isn’t easy, so don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for advice. You can ask for help from those who have successfully quit smoking, or find like-minded people who will support you.
- Move more. Sports have a beneficial effect on the blood vessels. If you are taking insulin or other medications to lower your blood sugar, ask your doctor if you should have your blood sugar checked before, during, or after. Also ask what kind of physical activity is right for you.
When should i see a doctor?
If you develop at least one of the following symptoms:
- the veil before the eyes,
- blurred or blurry vision
- black dots in front of the eyes,
- flashes of light
- partial or complete loss of vision.