With increased inactive lifestyles and stress-levels, diabetes has become one of the most common chronic conditions in the world. Diabetes can have multiple debilitating effects on your health and eyes are the worst affected.
As a diabetic, you could develop a group of eye problems that have the potential to cause blurred vision, leading to severe eye damage and blindness. Some of the complications include diabetic retinopathy – a complication of diabetes that accounts for 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness every year. So, to avoid becoming one of these scary statistics, you have to ensure you keep control of your blood sugar levels and following these eye care tips…
1. Keep your A1C level below 7%
The A1C test is a blood test your endocrinologist will do to see how well you are managing your diabetes. It provides information about your average levels of blood sugar over a two- to three-month period. Therefore, if your A1C level is under 7%, then you’re doing a great job at keeping your average blood glucose levels in your target range. When your blood sugar in this target range then there will be less damage done to the delicate blood vessels in your eyes.
2. Visit an eye care professional once a year
Visiting your eye doctor regularly, even without diabetes, is the only reliable way to maintain healthy sight and possibly prevent mild to serious eye diseases. So, visit an eye care professional once a year to monitor changes in your vision. You may experience vision abnormalities if you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes. However, if you start having blurred vision a while after diagnosis, it may be a sign that you need to better regulate your blood sugar levels.
3. Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level
Approximately 25% of people with Type 1 diabetes and 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. Having diabetes raises your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and other health problems. High blood pressure also raises this risk. If you have both, this raises your risk of health problems and can lead to blood vessel damage. This then causes vision problems. So, try to keep your blood pressure at 130/80 or under to reduce your risk of vision impairment.
4. Enquire about vision rehabilitation or low vision services and devices
Last but not least is vision rehabilitation (also called vision rehab). This is a process of restoring functional ability and improving quality of life and independence in an individual who has lost visual function through illness or injury. So, if your eye doctor has told you that you have damage to your eyes or vision loss, enquire about low vision services and devices and vision rehabilitation.