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Keeping Your Vision Healthy: Diabetic Awareness Month

November is Diabetic Awareness Month and EyeCare Associates wants to take the time to discuss the important connection between diabetes and eye health. Diabetes might be more common than you think. Over 37 million Americans have diabetes. That’s nearly 11% of the entire United States population.

Keep reading to learn about how important diabetic eye care is and what you can do to keep your vision healthy. At EyeCare Associates in Alabama, we’re here to show you the importance of Diabetic Awareness Month.

How Does Diabetes Affect Eye Health?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Not only does it come with a wide range of symptoms, but it can have a big impact on your vision and eye health. Some of the eye complications include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. On top of all of that, high blood sugar levels can lead to vision problems and even blindness if left untreated. This is due to damaged blood vessels in the retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy ranks as a primary reason for adult blindness. The condition materializes as the blood vessels in the retina weaken and seep due to prolonged periods of high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy progresses through various phases, each having different effects on eyesight. It’s important to discover and manage it in time to prevent irreversible vision loss.

Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR)

Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR) is the initial phase of diabetic retinopathy. The blood vessels in your retina start to weaken and discharge fluid or blood. Your retina can swell and cause distorted or unclear vision. Additionally, it’s possible that yellow deposits referred to as "exudates" appear on the retina. The severity of NPDR can advance as your retinal blood vessels deteriorate.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

If diabetic retinopathy advances, it can result in substantial harm to the blood vessels, and new blood vessels might appear on the surface of the retina and extend into the vitreous gel. The blood vessels can easily get into your eye because of how fragile they are. This can cause floaters and make it difficult to see clearly. The new vessels can cause scar tissue. Your retina might detach from the back of the eye, leading to vision loss.

Eye Health Preventive Measures

There are many things you can do to keep up with your eye health:

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The food and exercise choices you make every day can impact both diabetes management and overall eye health. It’s important to prioritize nutrient-rich foods and have a balanced diet. It's also important to stay physically active. It helps manage diabetes and it promotes good circulation, which is key for healthy eyes. You should avoid smoking at all costs and only consume alcohol moderately to preserve eye health.

Regular Eye Exams

You should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. The expert team at EyeCare Associates is trained to detect diabetic eye problems. Scheduling these examinations regularly helps us find any issues early.

Control Blood Sugar

Maintaining your blood sugar levels within the designated target range advised by your healthcare professional can diminish diabetic-related eye complications. Not only does this help your general health, but it’s also a good defense for diabetes-related eye issues.

Manage Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can severely worsen diabetic eye issues. You should monitor and manage both your blood pressure and cholesterol with a healthy lifestyle and prescribed medicine.

We have locations all across Alabama. 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 EyeCare Associates so you can start focusing on your eye health.

Find a Location

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Contact EyeCare Associates in Alabama Today

Throughout Diabetic Awareness Month and beyond, it's crucial to remember that it’s important to protect your eyes if you have diabetes. By remaining diligent in monitoring your blood sugar levels, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and visiting the eye doctor often, you can lower the risk of diabetic-linked eye issues.

Our team at EyeCare Associates is here to help you with all the diabetic eye care you need. We have locations all across Alabama. 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 EyeCare Associates!

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