November is diabetes awareness month. Diabetes is a prevalent health concern for all Canadians. It is estimated by Diabetes Canada that by the year 2025, five million Canadians will be living with this disease. In our previous articles, we’ve highlighted the negative effects diabetes can have on your eye health. However, this week’s article will focus on reducing risk and preventing diabetic related eye diseases. Read on to learn about how simple steps could help you keep your eyes healthy for life!
Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts are among some of the major concern for those with diabetes. Why? Those who develop say, diabetic retinopathy, which affects the retina, could ultimately go blind. However, you can take steps to lower your risk or prevent these eye conditions. How? Follow these recommendations:
Regular Eye Exam
Enough cannot be said about missing your regular eye exams. Many people don’t see the value in regular eye check-ups and only focus on the updated prescription portion of the appointment. However, a comprehensive eye exam is more than just an updated prescription. It is a chance for your family eye doctor to assess the health of your eyes and address any issues. It’s important to remember that many eye conditions do not have symptoms right away, like diabetic retinopathy, and an eye exam can identify early problems. This is done by examining your retina and optic nerve for normalcy.
Did you know a routine eye exam can reveal serious issues in other parts of your body? Yes, that’s right, it’s all connected. The sooner a problem is found the sooner a treatment plan can be put into place, which allows for a higher chance of success, so don’t skip out on your regular eye exam. It could honestly save your life.
Exercise & Eating Healthy
Exercising and eating well can both help control your diabetes, which can ultimately help protect your eyes from developing diabetic related eye issues. Check out the healthy living resource from Diabetes Canda to kick-start your healthy habits.
Keep Sugar Levels, Blood Pressure, & Cholesterol In Check
Knowledge is power. Regularly knowing your sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help you ensure they are where they need to be. Neglecting testing leaves you in the dark and increases your risk for diabetic related issues in your eyes and overall body.
Say No To Smoking
It is now commonly known smoking is just plain bad for you. Each cigarette contains thousands of chemicals as well as cancer-causing carcinogens. It also negatively affects your eyes and increases your risk of developing diabetic related eye issues like glaucoma. So if you are a smoker it’s time to quit. Check out the Government of Canada’s Quit Smoking Now initiative for services and Information to help you stop smoking.
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