It’s Diabetic Eye Disease Month and your AZ eye specialists want you to know that now is the perfect time to find out how to prevent yourself from getting type 2 diabetes, and how to keep your eyes healthy if you already have it.
How to prevent type 2 diabetes
Also known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes can often be prevented. And even if you’ve already been diagnosed with this condition, the odds are high that you’ll be able to lessen its severity by incorporating the same strategies used for prevention into your lifestyle. Here are two of the most important things you can do:
- Get regular exercise. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes, five days a week can be enough.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Most people should aim for a body mass index (BMI) that’s less than 25. You can use an online calculator to quickly figure out what your BMI is now. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your waist circumference. If you have too much fat around your waist, you’ll be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Women should aim for a waist circumference that’s less than 35 inches, and men should aim for less than 40 inches.
Tips from your AZ eye specialists on how to keep your eyes healthy with type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, it’s very important that you take steps to minimize your risk of ocular complications associated with this condition, such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. Here are some simple steps you can incorporate into your daily routine to protect yourself:
- See your eye specialist for regular eye exams (annually for most people) to help ensure that potential ocular complications are caught early enough to treat them effectively.
- See your eye doctor if you notice any changes in your existing symptoms, or if new ones develop. Examples of issues that should be discussed with your eye doctor include changes in the number of floaters you notice, eye pain or pressure, and changes in vision.
- Control your diabetes via diet, exercise, and medication. Your doctor will advise you on the optimal treatment strategy for your situation – be sure to follow their advice, and keep them up to date on your progress.
- Control your blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can damage the little vessels in your retina and make it more likely that diabetic retinopathy will develop and worsen.
- Don’t smoke. You already know it’s bad for your health in general, but it can also worsen the prognosis for someone with diabetes.
Your AZ eye specialists are on your team?
Work closely with your eye doctor to prevent and treat complications from type 2 diabetes that can affect your ocular health. The reward of healthy eyes is well worth the effort!