Diabetes has the propensity to inflict damage to many different parts of the body. One of the areas where this is particularly true is the eyes. Knowing how to manage your Type 2 diabetes and prevent the numerous diabetic complications, helps to protect your eyes from becoming temporarily, or even permanently, damaged.
When a person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, there are other things to consider besides daily high blood sugar levels. Diabetics have a tendency to develop glaucoma at a much higher rate than those who are not diabetic. Diabetics are also much more prone to having cataracts.
Almost half of all diabetics will develop a condition known as diabetic retinopathy, which happens to be the leading cause of blindness for the elderly, although the risk of eye damage has decreased considerably with modern diabetes and eye care. Retinopathy occurs when the retina becomes damaged. Some diabetics will also have macular edema, which is a swelling of the part of the eye that has to do with clear vision. Again, results may range from temporary to permanent.
There are many things people with Type 2 diabetes can do to protect their vision:
By far, the most important one is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels at all times. Since individuals respond differently to glucose fluctuations, even a small shift in glucose can register in the eyes. As a diabetic, if someone told you doing a particular action would result in blindness, you would go out of your way to make sure you never committed that action again. Elevated blood sugar is one of the easiest ways to cause blindness, and yet, many diabetics ignore the advice.
Another critical area to keep under control is cholesterol. Cholesterol affects blood flow. It affects blood pressure. It affects fat buildup. It affects heart rate. And so on, and so on. Cholesterol that is allowed to run out of control is like a runaway train. Eventually, there is going to be a major disaster as a result.
Maintaining proper blood pressure is another key preventive measure you can take. Anytime you apply too much blood pressure to the body, the most sensitive areas will be affected first. And nothing is more sensitive than your eyes.
Smoking. As if the formation of lung and other numerous cancers wasn't enough, let's throw in how it destroys the respiratory system and other vital organs. Plus, consider what happens to skin, tissue and blood vessels, most importantly, the blood vessels of the eyes. Smoking causes them to become severely damaged.