5 Steps to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

5 Steps to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes accounts for more than its fair share of vision problems among the more than 38 million Americans who have the condition. In fact, diabetic eye diseases account for the leading causes of blindness in our country.

So if you have diabetes and you value your ability to see the world around you, it’s time to take action to safeguard your eyesight.

To get you started, our medical team here at LaSante Health Center, which includes an optometry department as well as internal medicine specialists, pulled together five steps that you should take to hold on to your all-important vision.

What you're up against when you have diabetes

Before we get into the steps you should take to offset your risks for potentially vision-robbing eye diseases, let’s review what these conditions include.

First up is diabetic retinopathy, which affects nearly 10 million people in the United States. With diabetic retinopathy, high levels of blood sugar damage the tiny blood vessels that service your retina, which are critical to your eyesight.

In addition to diabetic retinopathy, people with diabetes are also at risk for:

To paint a clearer picture of these threats: People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma and cataracts than people who don’t have the chronic disease.

Protecting your vision

Now that we’ve set the scene for the threat that diabetes poses to your vision, let’s look at ways in which you can prevent this from happening.

Get help now

Each of the eye diseases we outlined above often has no symptoms, at first. All too often, people only notice the problem when it’s too late and there’s irreparable damage in your eyes.

To prevent this, it’s imperative that you see our eye specialists as soon as you receive a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis.  During your visit, we perform a dilated eye exam, in which we measure the pressure in your eye and examine your retina for any signs of damage. 

This preventive eye care can go a very long way toward staying one step ahead of potential vision loss.

Manage your glucose levels

The most important step you can take when you have diabetes is to manage the levels of glucose in your bloodstream. It’s also an important step if you want to avoid diabetic eye diseases.

So work with your diabetes team here at LaSante to make sure your blood sugar levels are in check.

Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol

This is good advice for everyone, but when you have diabetes and you want to avoid complications like vision loss, keeping your blood pressure down and your cholesterol levels balanced is paramount.

To get started, come see us for some baseline evaluations, and if we find a potential issue with your blood pressure or cholesterol, we work with you to improve these numbers.

Get moving

If you have diabetes, keep your cardiovascular system humming along smoothly, and exercise is the best way to do that. New York is a city that’s made for walking, so whenever you can, skip the subway or bus and hoof it to where you need to go.

Quit smoking

There are dozens of reasons you should quit smoking (or vaping or chewing), and we’re firmly putting diabetic eye diseases on this long list. Tobacco and nicotine use damages blood vessels, and you just can’t afford that when you have diabetes.

If you’d like a more customized list of do’s and don’ts for avoiding diabetic eye disease, we invite you to contact our clinic in Brooklyn, New York, today. We serve the Flatbush and East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Little Haiti, Little Caribbean, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens communities.

Call us 718-246-5700

Book an appointment online

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