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Managing Your Diabetes

A Message from Dr. Franson

November is National Diabetes month and with over 30 million Americans affected, it is the leading cause of blindness in adults in our country.  Diabetes can play a large role in how well we see and in our overall ocular health. To maintain healthy vision, diabetic patients need to take a holistic approach when managing the disease. Here are 5 key elements in maintaining good ocular and diabetic health.

1. Get a comprehensive diabetic exam.

Your doctor will ask if you have gotten your yearly diabetic eye exam. Why is this so important? The small blood vessels in the back of the eye can tell your doctors a lot about how well your blood sugar is managed by monitoring for a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy. Furthermore, diabetes increases your risk for other diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. Our doctors at Broadway Eye Clinic will use special tests like Optomap imaging and color testing to thoroughly evaluate the overall health of the eye and send a report to your primary care doctor to ensure proper management is given.

2. Call our clinic right away if you have trouble with your vision.

   Diabetes can increase your risk for sudden vision changes sight threatening conditions. Call our clinic if you notice:

         Flashes of light or increased floaters in your vision

         Double vision

         Sudden or brief onset of blurred vision

         Eye pain

         Any other sudden changes in your vision

3. Focus on your numbers.

During your diabetic eye exam, we will ask you for A1C and your daily blood sugar ranges. Keeping track of these numbers helps us better understand your risk for developing diabetic changes like retinopathy and allows you to be in better control of your blood sugar.

4. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise.

Eating well and exercising not only helps maintain blood sugar levels, it also helps maintain healthy vision. Try to get at least 180 minutes of exercise per week. This can be anything that gets you moving! Aim for 5-7 servings of a wide color variety of whole fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients. Fatty fish like salmon or crab are excellent sources of Omega 3, which also help protect against other eye diseases like macular degeneration and dry eye disease.

5. Make healthy habits

     Since diabetic patients have higher rates of cataracts and dry eye disease, sticking to healthy habits help maintain ocular health. Make a point to wear sunglasses or Transition lenses every time you’re outside. This helps protect against cataracts and sun damage in and around the eye. Take frequent breaks while using digital devices and get Smartblue filters on your lenses to help protect against digital eyestrain, which can lead to dry eye disease.

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