It’s September, and 2019 is in the final quarter! From Sunday Night Football to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, ‘tis the season for making merry, keeping busy, and eating plenty of junk food. For those living with diabetes or working to reduce their risk of diabetes, there are many reasons to exercise caution this time of year. But is eye health among them? Ask any eye care physician, and the answer will be “absolutely.”
Diabetic Eye Disease: A Serious Diabetes Complication
Diabetic eye disease is actually a group of conditions, all of which can potentially cause severe vision loss and blindness in patients with diabetes. The most common of these is diabetic retinopathy, which happens when chronically high blood sugar damages the tiny, fragile blood vessels in the retina. That’s why blood sugar management is extremely important in helping diabetics maintain healthy eyes. It’s also a big reason that diabetes prevention is best whenever possible.
Concerned about keeping your blood sugar normal as the holidays roll around? Never fear! The eye care experts at Everett & Hurite are here with some great tips for managing your blood sugar levels and keeping your eyes healthy:
- Practice Light Exercise. Keeping up an exercise routine is essential for maintaining a normal blood sugar level, as well as for helping to prevent diabetes. Just don’t overdo it! Intense exercise can cause the body to produce a stress response that raises your levels of blood glucose instead of regulating them. Luckily, this is the perfect time of year for taking daily walks! If you take to the trails on a regular basis, you’ll be seeing the beautiful sights of the season for years to come.
- Diet Control = Normal Blood Sugar Levels. Two of the most important elements of living a healthy lifestyle and controlling blood sugar are constant hydration and a consistent diet - a difficult feat during holiday feasts! Diabetic and prediabetic patients alike should avoid sugary beverages and foods high in trans fats, and always be sure to research the sugar content of whatever you’re consuming. Need a resource for some popular holiday treats? Check out this rundown of the caloric and sugar content of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner!
- Lower Your Stress For Lower Blood Sugar. Holiday occasions like Thanksgiving and Black Friday are always stressful - but did you know that stress can be a major cause of high blood sugar in patients with diabetes? This year, if high blood sugar symptoms start to show, take stock of the stressors in your life. If you can, take a step back and practice some self-care. It’s important to give yourself a break when your health is on the line!
- Visit The Eye Doctor As Needed. No matter what, if you’re living with diabetes, regular exams with an eye doctor are essential to preventing and treating diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy symptoms may not occur until the disease has started to advance, making treatment more difficult. Only an exam carried out by a certified eye doctor can detect the initial signs of diabetic eye disease - and therefore help you see and avoid eye problems and blindness.
Do you have questions or concerns about your eye care needs in relation to a diabetes diagnosis? Contact us with your questions! The eye care center at Everett and Hurite will connect you with one of our ophthalmologists and gladly work with you to help ensure that your diabetes never clouds your vision.