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Five Steps to Help Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

Five Steps to Help Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease takes a number of different forms, including glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. Here at Hunter Vision in Maitland, Florida, Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald can help you uncover the risks that diabetes poses to your eyesight. 

Diabetic eye disease comes as the result of high blood glucose, also called blood sugar. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back as the disease causes slow vision decline. In fact, putting these five steps into action helps you enjoy better vision and fewer diabetes complications overall. 

1. Come in for eye exams annually

Whether you have diabetes or not, annual eye exams benefit you in an important way. During an eye exam, Dr. MacDonald can detect early signs of eye diseases that develop as a result of diabetes, like macular degeneration and retinopathy. 

During the exam, Dr. MacDonald dilates your eyes for a better view of the inside. She can detect changes even before they cause any symptoms or decline in your vision. If you have symptoms such as eye floaters though, you should schedule a visit right away.

2. Follow your diabetes treatment plan

If you have diabetes, chances are you’re working with a primary care physician or another medical provider to manage the chronic disease. If you take insulin or oral medication, be sure to take it every day according to your physician’s instructions. You’ll also need to track your blood sugar levels using a meter in order to keep the level within a healthy range. 

3. Choose healthy foods

Dietary changes play a key role in any effective diabetes management plan. You should limit sugar, refined carbohydrates, and fried foods to the best of your ability. It helps to focus on using fresh ingredients and preparing food at home whenever possible so you know what you’re eating. 

Planning and maintaining a healthy, diabetes-friendly diet also helps prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are both major risk factors for diabetic eye disease. High blood pressure leads to blood vessel damage in the retina, causing retinopathy.

4. If you smoke, quit

At first, smoking might not seem like a significant factor in diabetic complications because it doesn’t influence your blood sugar. However, smoking and the use of tobacco products contribute to increases in blood pressure. 

Whether you can quit on your own or need some extra help, giving up tobacco products will lower your risk for diabetic retinopathy and other forms of diabetic eye disease.

5. Get up and exercise

Exercising helps control diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Plus, it’s great for your eye health. Adding a reasonable amount of exercise to your routine helps lower blood pressure, which significantly reduces your risk of diabetic retinopathy. 

Get into the routine of leading a healthy lifestyle and prioritizing preventive optometrical care to help prevent diabetic eye disease. For superb diabetic eye care, schedule a visit with us at Hunter Vision by phone or book it online. 

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