Seven Things Diabetics Should Do to Protect Their Eyes

 Seven Things Diabetics Should Do to Protect Their Eyes

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. Examples of conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts. These conditions can cause vision problems and even vision loss if left untreated.

Unfortunately, though, as many as 33% of people with diabetes over the age of 40 already have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. 

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to protect your eyes, starting with a dilated eye exam. Dilated eye exams allow our team to assess your eyes and diagnose problems as soon as possible. 

Nicanor Lacsina, O.D., Yelena Pinkhasova, O.D., and the team at Bainbridge Eye Care have over 20 years of experience with diabetic eye disease here in the Norwood neighborhood of Bronx, New York City.

Read on to learn seven things diabetics should do to protect their eyes.

1. Schedule regular eye exams

Regular eye check-ups play a role in the early detection of diabetes-related eye issues. Dilated eye exams can help identify problems in their early stages when they are more manageable and before they cause significant damage.

If you have diabetes, don’t hesitate to let our team know. 

2. Manage your blood sugar levels

Managing your blood sugar levels helps you avoid diabetic-related complications, and that includes eye-related complications. Consistently high blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels in your eyes and increase your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. 

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness, so it’s critical to do what you can to reduce your risk of this condition, or if you spot the symptoms, get help. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include floaters, blurred vision, or dark spots in your vision.

Follow your primary health care provider's guidance on diabetes medication, diet, and lifestyle to keep blood glucose levels within the target range. All these not only help your overall health but your eyes too!

3.  Manage your blood pressure

Hypertension and high cholesterol levels can exacerbate your risk of diabetic complications, including eye problems. Maintain your blood pressure and cholesterol through medication, diet, and regular exercise.

4. Adopt healthy diet

A balanced and nutritious diet can positively impact the management of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and eye health. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E 一 all beneficial for eye function. 

Leafy greens, fish, nuts, seeds, and colorful fruits and vegetables are all good additions to your daily meal rotations.

5. Exercise at least 150 minutes each week

You can protect your eyes by exercising every day. Exercise helps:

Three different organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American Heart Association (AHA), all recommend that you log at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly, which can include low-impact activities such as walking, yoga, biking, swimming, or hiking.

6. Quit smoking

Smoking increases your risk of diabetic retinopathy and other eye complications. Quitting smoking helps protect your eyes and overall health. If you need help, consider exploring the New York State Smokers Quitline. 

7. Wear sunglasses

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can contribute to eye problems, especially if you have diabetes. Wear sunglasses that block UV rays outdoors, and consider hats or visors for additional protection. This simple habit can shield your eyes from potential harm.

Need new sunglasses? Our full-service optometry practice features an on-site lab with various sunglasses, including glasses for kids, sports, prescription and non-prescription requirements. 

When you’re ready to schedule your eye exam, call us at 718-306-9127. You can also use our online scheduling tool

You Might Also Enjoy...

Tips for Getting Rid of Red Eyes

Tips for Getting Rid of Red Eyes

If you’re struggling to get rid of red eyes, you’re not alone. It’s a common complaint and one that has many potential causes. Read on to learn what causes red eyes and what you can do to reduce redness.
 Glaucoma Runs in My Family — What Should I Do?

Glaucoma Runs in My Family — What Should I Do?

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness, and learning that this condition runs in your family can be overwhelming. If you have family or personal risk factors for glaucoma, read on to learn what to do next.
 Why You Shouldn't Ignore Seemingly Mild Vision Changes

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Seemingly Mild Vision Changes

Mild vision changes aren’t something you have to deal with. Getting the correct treatment can help you see clearly and comfortably again. The benefits don’t end there. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t ignore vision changes.
When to See a Specialist About Red Eyes

When to See a Specialist About Red Eyes

You might be tempted to use eye drops to mask red eyes, but is that all you should do? Read on to learn the common causes of red eyes and ten signs it’s time to see a specialist about them.