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Five actions to safeguard vision during diabetes

You probably already know how important it is to keep blood sugar levels within the recommended range if you or a loved one has diabetes. Major, long-term health issues like vision loss, heart disease, and renal disease can be avoided or delayed with proper management of blood sugar, HbA1c, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Diabetes can have a serious negative impact on the eyes, which can result in blindness or visual impairment. This is due to the fact that high blood sugar can destroy the capillaries in the eye’s most delicate tissues, which transmit signals to the brain and enable clear vision. A permanent loss of vision may result from this retinal damage brought on by high blood pressure.

However, there is hope. One can avoid major eye damage by monitoring and regulating the blood sugar levels as per their doctor’s recommendation.

The following five actions can help safeguard vision during diabetes.

Understand Numbers

When blood sugar levels rise, the delicate blood vessels that nourish the most delicate areas of the eyes are often the first to sustain damage. High blood sugar specifically harms the retina. The thin tissue that makes up around 65 per cent of the back of the eye is called the retina. Many light-sensitive cells reside there, allowing the eyes to communicate visual information to the brain via the optic nerve.

The blood vessels that supply the retina are harmed when blood sugar levels rise. Vision blurring may result from this, either temporarily or permanently. Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts are three distinct eye conditions that are quite common in people with diabetes. Timely detection and interventions can minimize such complications. By keeping track of the blood sugar levels one can reduce the risk for these sight-stealing conditions.

Stop Smoking

Every physiological system is harmed by smoking, but diabetics are particularly vulnerable. Smoking harms the veins, arteries, and capillaries in the body, aggravating diabetes-related eye damage already present. Whether you’re a smoker and have tried to quit, or want to quit for the first time, don’t give up. Talk to your doctor about your options.

Moving It

Exercise benefits all physical systems in the same way that smoking does, so get moving! After lunch, go for a couple laps around the block. Take a few extra steps and park at the far end of the parking lot. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing diabetic eye disease since it lowers blood sugar levels. Put it on your calendar each week to remind you to make time for this appointment with yourself that will improve your life. Before beginning any workout regimen, discuss it with your doctor to find out the exercises they advise.

Focus on Eating Healthily

You are what you eat, we’ve all been told since we were young. Healthy eating leads to healthy eyes. Eat a diet that is well-balanced and contains meals that provide your body with good nutrients to safeguard diabetic eyes. Vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and zeaxanthin are some of them. Consuming a diet high in leafy greens, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel, nuts like walnuts and almonds, beans, lentils, and mushrooms will help you reach this goal. Maintaining a low glycemic diet is important to manage blood sugar levels.

Yearly Dilated Eye Examination

The finest tip is reserved for last: get a full dilated eye exam from your ophthalmologist once a year, or more frequently if advised, to make sure that your efforts to control blood sugar are aiding in maintaining the health of your eyesight. A screening for cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy may be performed at this visit. Your pupils enlarge as your eyes dilate, allowing your ophthalmologist to inspect the retina, macula, and optic nerve up close. Your doctor can identify diabetic retinopathy in its early stages long before you have any symptoms by looking at these sensitive tissues.

(Dr. Kuldeep Dole, Medical Director – PBMA’s H.V. Desai Eye Hospital An Orbis Partner Hospital)

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