Diabetes can wreak havoc by damaging blood vessels all over the body, and the eyes are one area of the body that can be severed damaged. Certain eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic macular edema can cause poor vision and even the loss of sight. By managing your diabetes well, you can avoid high blood pressure and high blood sugars that lead to damaged blood vessels. Here are some things you can do to protect your eyes if you have diabetes.
Consuming dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale have lutein and zeaxanthin, which are nutrients that help protect the cells in your retina. They also contain vitamin E, which may help you reduce your risk of cataracts. Fiber also benefits your eye health by slowing the release of glucose into your system and helping to lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol level.
Exercise has numerous health benefits and is especially beneficial to the blood vessels in your eyes. Moderate exercise lowers your blood sugar and blood pressure and raises your “good” HDL cholesterol. Thirty minutes of physical activity on most days can help improve your overall health.
Sodas and juices can increase your glucose, so water is your best bet for hydration. Water helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar through urine. Aim to drink at least six glasses of water every day.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna and sardines are essential nutrients that may help prevent and manage heart disease. By improving your cholesterol, you are helping out your blood vessels, which is a good thing for your eyes.
Regular eye exams
Regular visits to your eye doctor can catch eye diseases and conditions that can be treated at their earliest stages. Annual screenings can help your doctor detect how your eyes have changed since so many eye problems don’t present symptoms. With diabetic retinopathy, for example, eye doctors have many effective treatment options if they are able to seal leaking blood vessels before bleeding starts. This helps slow the progression of the disease and prevent you from having vision loss.
These tips can help you protect your eyes if you have diabetes. To schedule your next eye exam at one of our locations, call Longwood Eye & LASIK Center today at (800) 676-5050.