Woman smiling Diabetic Awareness month

How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy: Diabetic Awareness Month

Diabetes can have a huge impact on your eye health, and the eyecarecenter team wants to talk about it this month in honor of Diabetic Awareness Month. Did you know that 37 million Americans have diabetes and might struggle with eye issues because of it. That’s nearly 11% of the entire United States population.

Read on to learn about the importance of diabetic eye care and the steps you can take to keep up with your eye health. At eyecarecenter in North Carolina, we want you to better understand Diabetic Awareness Month.

Diabetes & Eye Health

Diabetes can lead to several eye issues such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. Across the globe, millions of individuals grapple with diabetes, a condition that not only has several symptoms but also affects eye health too. It can damage blood visuals in your retina because of high blood sugar levels. If left untreated, your vision problems can lead to blindness.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy comes from the weakening and leakage of blood vessels in the retina due to prolonged elevated blood sugar levels. It is a major cause of adult blindness. It goes through several phases that all affect your eyesight differently. You need to discover any issues early on to prevent irreversible vision loss.

Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR)

Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR) marks the start of diabetic retinopathy. During this stage, the blood vessels within your retina begin to weaken, leading to the release of fluid or blood. This weakening can result in swelling of the retina, leading to vision distortion or blurriness. It's possible that you might see the emergence of yellow deposits known as "exudates" on your retina. The severity of NPDR can escalate as your retinal blood vessels worsen.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

As diabetic retinopathy progresses, it has the potential to cause significant damage to the blood vessels. It can lead to the emergence of new blood vessels on the retinal surface, which may extend into the vitreous gel. Due to their fragility, these blood vessels can enter the eye, resulting in floaters and unclear vision. If not treated, your retina can detach from the back of the eye and cause vision loss. The new vessels can cause scar tissue as well.

Vision Loss Preventive Measures

There are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy:

Control Blood Sugar

Maintaining your blood sugar levels helps with your general health and helps prevent diabetes-related eye issues. Keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range that your healthcare professional recommends can decrease diabetic-related eye complications. 

Manage Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

If you have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, you’re at a higher risk for diabetic eye issues. Make sure to monitor and manage your blood pressure and cholesterol by being active, eating well, and taking prescribed medicine.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The food you eat and how much you exercise has a big impact on both diabetes management and overall eye health. Eating healthy foods that are full of nutrients, as well as eating a balanced diet, is important to good eye health. Playing sports or exercising regularly helps manage diabetes and promotes circulation. This is especially important for your eyes. As obvious as it may seem, you need to avoid smoking at all costs. It is bad for your health in general. You should also try only consuming alcohol moderately.

Regular Eye Exams

Visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam at least one time each year. The expert team at eyecarecenter is trained to detect diabetic eye problems. We are able to detect any issues early on to help prevent long-term vision loss.

We have locations all across North Carolina. No matter where you are in the state, quality eye care and comprehensive eye exams are always close! Reach out now to schedule an appointment at eyecarecenter to begin your eye health journey.

Find a Location

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Contact eyecarecenter in North Carolina Today

With November being Diabetic Awareness Month, you should spend the remembering to protect your eyes if you have diabetes. By consistently monitoring your blood sugar levels, embracing a health-conscious lifestyle, and regularly consulting with an eye care professional, you can effectively reduce the likelihood of encountering diabetes-related eye complications.

Our team at eyecarecenter is here to help you with all the diabetic eye care you need. We have locations all across North Carolina. No matter where you are in the state, quality eye care and comprehensive eye exams are never far away! Call or click today for more info about Diabetic Awareness Month and what you can do to keep your eyes healthy. Reach out to schedule an appointment at eyecarecenter!

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