If we look at the figures, one in four Americans age 65 or older are suffering from diabetes which has increased their risk of vision loss and blindness. But diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented provided if the person gets regular care and medical attention. But according to recent study, many Medicare beneficiaries having diabetes do not get the necessary eye exams.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes is found to affect the small blood vessels in the eyes resulting into leak and irregular growth. If this is not given proper medical attention it can even lead to loss of vision. This medical condition is termed as diabetic retinopathy and is found to affect nearly 30 percent of people having diabetes. It can even give rise to more blinding ocular complications, such as diabetic macular edema. The risk increases with age and duration of diabetes.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology people with diabetes should go for a dilated eye exam every year to prevent any diabetes-related vision loss. Getting a proper eye examination can reduce risk by 95 percent of diabetes-related vision loss. The examination is done by physicians who have specialized in surgical eye care known as ophthalmologists.
Eye Exams For People With Diabetes
Eye exams for diabetes patients are same as comprehensive eye exams. They are done by putting dilating drops into the eyes which allows the pupil to expand. This position of the pupil makes it possible for the ophthalmologist to study the retina closely for the early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Cameras along with a microscope are used to get close-up images of the retina and record them for further study. So, it is recommended for all the diabetes patients to talk with their doctors for a proper eye exam.
EyeCare America is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology which can help older Americans to get a comprehensive eye exam up to one year that too free of cost.
Tips To Manage Type 2 Diabetes
- Switch to high fiber but low fat foods
- There is no pre-defined diet for diabetes patients and it may vary from patient to patient. But people with type 2 diabetes should eat high-fiber but low-fat foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Cut off consumption of animal products, refined carbohydrates and sweets.
- Consuming Low glycemic index foods will stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. So, prefer low glycemic foods over high as low glycemic foods contain a lot of fiber.
For Effectively Managing Type 2 Diabetes
• Increase consumption of wholegrain bread and cereals, beans and lentils, and fruit and vegetables
• Eat low fat foods such as vegetable oil instead of butter, ghee and coconut oil.
• Prefer skimmed and semi-skimmed milk, and low-fat yoghurts
• Cut off high-fat foods, such as mayonnaise, chips, crisps, pasties from your diet
Include Physical Activity In Your Daily Routine:
- Physical activity is must for a healthy life. It keeps you fit, energetic and also prevents problems of weight gain and obesity. But it is advisable to consult your doctor for a safe exercise routine.
- A good exercise routine should comprise of aerobics, walking, swimming and biking. You can even practice few basic yoga postures and then eventually move to advance yoga to keep your body in shape.
- People in the age 19-64 years of age should follow exercise routine.
- Moderate intensity of aerobic activity for 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) which includes cycling or fast walking (can be done in sessions of 10 minutes or more during a week)
- Muscle-strengthening activities for two or more days during a week (working on legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).