Have Regular Eye Exams
An annual eye exam can assist with early diagnosis and treatment of issues caused by diabetes. This visit should include a dilated eye exam, in which drops are used to dilate the pupils and evaluate the condition of the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. Eye doctors may recommend more frequent appointments for those at high risk for eye problems.
Control Blood Sugar
High blood sugar is responsible for many problems associated with diabetes, including retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels of the eyes). Take steps to keep your blood sugar under 7 percent or at a number the doctor recommends. A quarterly A1C blood test can evaluate average blood sugar over a few months.
Many people with diabetes struggle with high blood pressure, which can also cause eye damage. Have blood pressure checked regularly; it should ideally be under 140/90. Those with higher levels may need to control hypertension with medication and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, limiting dietary salt and fat, and developing an exercise routine.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains leads to lower blood sugar and lower cholesterol, which can prevent damage to the blood vessels in the eyes. Limiting fatty and sugary foods can help lower cholesterol levels as well.
Smoking exacerbates the risk for eye problems since it also causes blood vessel damage. If you smoke, talk with a medical professional who can recommend strategies to help you quit.
Keeping the body healthy limits the complications of diabetes. Most people should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, such as brisk walking or other activities that raise the heart rate.
Those who need regular eye exams to control diabetes-related problems can visit one of the three convenient Portsmouth-area locations of Excellent Vision. Our doctors provide diagnosis and treatment for a range of conditions, including low vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.