If you have diabetes, you are prone to developing certain eye problems like diabetic retinopathy. If left undiagnosed and untreated, this type of complication can lead to blindness. In fact, it’s the leading cause of vision loss in patients aged between 20 and 60 years old. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing such a condition or keep it from getting worse. Here are the top 10 tips for diabetic retinopathy prevention:
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet. Besides eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains, you have to cut down on salty, fatty, and sugary foods.
Maintain a Healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). If you’re overweight, you need to shed some pounds. You can do this by sticking to a workout plan, reducing your caloric intake, and staying hydrated.
Exercise Regularly. As a start, you can aim for at least 10000 steps per day. You need to get at least two and a half hours of moderately intense exercise each week as much as possible.
Quit Smoking. Cigarette smoking harms your overall health and even impacts the health of the people around you. Smoking also contributes to the onset of various eye problems.
Drink Moderately. Curb your alcohol intake. It’s best to quit it altogether. But if you can’t avoid it at one point, ensure that you don’t go beyond the recommended alcohol limits.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels in Check. You need to monitor and manage your blood sugar levels. The normal range is between 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals. It should be 180 mg/dL an hour or two after meals. Levels can vary throughout the day. So, check it at different times. If you have impaired vision due to diabetes, it will take a few months after your blood glucose level has stabilized for your vision to go back to normal.
Control Your Blood Pressure Levels. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will likely be advised to aim for a blood pressure level that doesn’t exceed 140/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). If you have developed diabetes complications, such as eye damage, you need to maintain a reading that’s less than 130/80 mm Hg.
Regulate Your Cholesterol Levels. If you have diabetes, it’s often recommended to aim for a total blood cholesterol level that doesn’t exceed four millimoles per liter.
Visit Your Doctors Regularly. If you can monitor and control your blood sugar and pressure levels at home, you still need to schedule regular visits to your primary care physician. Equally important is seeing your eye doctor at least once a year or as often as necessary. This way, your ophthalmologist can assess your eye health.
Find an Accountability Partner. Have your spouse, a family member, or friend help remind you of adhering to your lifestyle changes and new habits. Their support and assistance will benefit you in managing your medical condition. This way, you can enjoy the process, stick to it, and achieve your health goals.
Have you been experiencing blurriness, holes, or black spots in your vision? Your symptoms may be that of diabetic retinopathy. Other signs include loss of central vision and inability to see in colors. Don’t wait for your condition to get worse. Schedule your eye exam today at our team of experts in Eastside Eye Physicians. Call our clinic now in Shelby Township or St. Clair Shores, Michigan, to make an appointment.