Do you have an eye condition related to your diabetes? Did you know that there is an entire month dedicated to diabetic eye disease awareness? November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. The goal of this month is to bring awareness to diabetic eye diseases and diabetes.

It is also to encourage people to get treatment for any eye conditions linked to their diabetes. It is important to keep your diabetes under control, so the rest of your body remains healthy. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month!

What Happens When You Have Diabetes?

In adults, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. For diabetics, the risk is higher for vision loss or going blind due to a diabetic eye condition. For minorities with diabetes, there is a higher risk of developing diabetic eye conditions. This includes people of African American, Native American, or Latino descent.

If you have diabetes, you should have healthy habits to manage your condition. When you have unhealthy habits like being overweight or high blood sugar levels, it can cause diabetic eye conditions. Some of these conditions include:

Diabetic Retinopathy:

With diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels in the retina become damaged. This is the most common diabetes-related eye disease.

Cataracts:

When you have a cataract, the proteins in your eye’s natural lens break down. This causes the lens to become cloudy. Diabetics with uncontrolled diabetes may develop cataracts at an earlier age.

Glaucoma:

When you have glaucoma, it causes intraocular pressure in the eye to increase. When left untreated, this leads to vision loss and permanent damage to the optic nerve.

Tips For Preventing Vision Loss

Maintain Your Blood Sugar Levels

Maintaining blood sugar levels is key to keeping your body and eyes healthy. There are things you can do to keep your blood sugar levels within the proper levels. This includes:

  • Eating minimal sugar and simple carbohydrates
  • Exercising regularly
  • Checking your blood sugar levels

Working with your doctors to maintain your blood sugar levels is a must. You may even want to work with a nutritionist. Also, it is important to take insulin and all medicine as prescribed.

Have a Healthy Diet

Cooking your meals yourself with fresh ingredients is helpful. Steer away from large quantities of red meat, fried foods, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates. Try to eat more vegetables and lean proteins instead.

Manage Your Blood Pressure

By managing your blood pressure, you’re less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy.

Get Regular Comprehensive Eye Exams

Having annual or more frequent eye exams will help keep your eyes healthy. If you do have any eye conditions, early diagnosis could mean avoiding vision loss. You should go to the eye doctor as often as recommended to stay healthy.

Stop Smoking

If you are a diabetic and also smoke, smoking increases your chances of developing a diabetes-related eye condition. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to quit smoking.

Smoking and being diabetic increases your chances of developing eye conditions. This includes cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. As a smoker, you are also more likely to develop these conditions at an earlier age.

Trying to follow all these tips will keep your eyes as healthy as possible. If you need help managing your diabetes, please call your doctor. Are you ready to schedule a comprehensive eye exam? Getting regular eye exams is the best way to monitor your eye health. Schedule an eye exam at Riverside Eye Center in Auburn, ME and get your eye health under control!

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