By Dr Saurabh Choudhry
Diabetes can have a severe impact on your eyes, resulting in vision changes, vision loss, and even blindness. That’s because high blood sugar damages the tiny capillaries in the retina. Once high blood sugar levels cause damage to the retina, the vision loss you suffer may be irreversible.
7 eye care tips for people with diabetes:
Maintain your blood sugar levels: Maintaining strict control of your blood sugar is by far the most effective way to prevent all the eye problems associated with diabetes. It is important to avoid massive blood sugar fluctuations.
Healthy diet: To protect diabetic eyes, eat a well-balanced diet that includes Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and zeaxanthin. These essential vitamins can be found in all fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel, nuts including walnuts and almonds, plus beans, lentils, and mushrooms. Strictly avoid sweets, processed meats, packaged foods, deep-fried snacks, carbonated drinks, etc.
Exercise: Regular exercise helps control blood sugar levels and can therefore lower your risk for developing diabetic-related eye disease. Simple cardio such as jogging, brisk walking, running, dancing, swimming, cycling, etc. is enough. Do these for at least half an hour every day to keep your eyes fit.
Meditate: Stress can raise your blood glucose as well as your blood pressure. Meditation can ease your mind and relieve your body.
Drink more water: Drinking a lot of water regularly is another must-do to control diabetes and reduce the risk of eye problems like dryness, irritation, and burning sensations.
Quit smoking: Smoking damages the body’s veins, arteries, and capillaries, which further irritates the damage to the eyes associated with diabetes.
Annual Dilated Eye Exam:
To ensure that your efforts to keep blood glucose in check are helping to keep your vision healthy, visit your eye doctor each year – or more often if recommended – for a dilated comprehensive eye exam. This visit will include a screening for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. Your eye doctor can detect the early stages of diabetic retinopathy long before you notice any symptoms. This early diagnosis combined with preventive action can mean the difference between losing vision permanently and maintaining your ability to see clearly.
(Disclaimer: Dr Saurabh Choudhry is CEO of ICARE Eye Hospital at Noida, one of Delhi-NCR’s oldest and largest NABH-accredited eye hospitals, established in 1993. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Zee News.)