Diabetes May Be Linked To Eye Problems - Senior Alert Medical

Diabetes May Be Linked To Eye Problems

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Eye Problems due to diabetic blood glucose and blood pressure can damage the eye.

Two national health associations, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the American Optometric Association (AOA), are collaborating to increase the public’s awareness about the importance of optometrists and registered dietitians as part of the health care team.

For people with diabetes, proper nutrition can have a far-reaching effect on their health and wellness. It is important to note that problems with blood glucose and blood pressure from diabetes can damage the eye.  “The eye offers a unique opportunity to view blood vessels without doing surgery,” says Leo Semes, O.D., an AOA spokesperson. “From this vantage point, optometrists as primary eye care providers are able to screen as well as follow patients with diabetes. Through a dilated eye examination, an important aspect of diabetic care, optometrists can assess for diabetic changes in those diagnosed as well as observe for alterations of blood vessels in patients at risk or undiagnosed with diabetes.”

Diabetes is a condition that affects how the body uses energy, in the form of glucose, from food. People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Blood sugar levels are controlled through food choices, physical activity and, for some people, oral medication or insulin injections.

According to the AOA, people with diabetes may be at greater risk of:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy

“By following a healthy eating plan that you have worked out with your dietitian, you can avoid these issues,” says registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Angela Ginn-Meadow. “Your dietician will work with you and your health care team to strike the right balance between your meal plan and any medications you take.”

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, seek the expert advice of a registered dietitian to help you manage the disease while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs. Many health plans, including the government’s Medicare Part B program, cover medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian. Use the “Find a Registered Dietitian” tool at www.eatright.org to locate a registered dietitian in your area.

Early detection of eye problems is critical in maintaining healthy vision. Be sure to see an optometrist if your vision becomes blurry; you have trouble reading signs or books; experience double vision; feel pressure in your eyes; encounter straight lines appearing indistinct; or your side vision is limited.

Individuals who are at high risk for diabetes need to have regular, dilated eye exams and all individuals with known diabetes need to have dilated eye exams each year. Use the “Find an Optometrist” tool at www.aoa.org to locate an optometrist in your area to avoid eye problems.

— Article Courtesy of ARAcontent


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