Wilford Brimley has had the “Diabeetus” for over 20 years now, and he takes some simple steps in managing it. We’ve all seen his commercials…yes, he is the “diabeetus’ guy! Simple steps are all it takes when it comes to staying ahead of the disease, especially since it can have a serious effect on the eyes and your vision! So, Dr. Kash would like to offer some valuable information, as well as steps to early detection of diabetic eye disease, prevention, and management.
For starters, if you happen to be diabetic (and even if you’re not), routine eye exams are extremely important! Having a dilated eye exam at least once a year can help to detect certain eye diseases. Secondly, if you’re a smoker with diabetes, you may seriously want to consider ditching the habit for better overall health. Being sure to stay on top of your health can surely help to prevent certain vision complications from high blood sugar or at least prevent it from worsening. Four of the top diseases that can negatively affect one’s vision include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts.
Diabetic retinopathy in a nutshell is basically damaged blood vessels within the eye which can damage the retina thereby damaging your vision. Diabetic macular edema usually tends to develop in eyes already affected by retinopathy and damages the macula which is the part of the retina which allows us to do such things as recognize faces and drive. If damaged, it can lead to sharp vision loss or worse, blindness. Glaucoma can cause damage to a bundle of nerves called the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain. Having diabetes increases the risk of developing this disease which can also lead to vision loss if left untreated in its early stages. And finally, diabetics are also at an increased risk of developing cataracts which clouds the lenses of our eyes leading to sharp vision loss.
So you see, Dr. Kash wants to make sure you keep you baby blues healthy which means being sure to manage the “diabeetus”! This means eating healthy, watching cholesterol and blood pressure, getting your A1c checked, as well as regular eye exams to keep your vision in tip top shape!