Diabetes & Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood sugar levels are not controlled, causing small breaks in the blood vessels of the eye. These leaky vessels can cause small and large bleeds, deposits of lipids, and swelling of the central vision.
VIDEO: Types of diabetic retinopathy
- Losing 5 to 10 pounds will cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half. Losing 25-50lbs will almost eliminate a disease and improve sleep apnea problems as well.
- Cinnamon is a natural germ-fighter that also helps lower blood sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels — ¼ teaspoon a day is a healthy goal. Sprinkle a little of the powder on freshly ground coffee beans when making your morning coffee. This helps your body absorb glucose faster and convert it into energy more easily.
- Hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that measures the average amount of glucose in the blood over 8 to 12 weeks; it needs to be below 6 percent to be in a healthy range. A range of 6 to 6.3 is considered borderline/prediabetic. Every percentage point above this raises your risk for complications by 25 to 30 percent.
- Acetic acid in vinegars (white, cider, or balsamic) can inhibit your body’s absorption of glucose from carbohydrates, which will help stabilize blood-sugar levels. Aim for 2 to 4 tablespoons a day and an acetic acid content of 5 percent.
- Watching TV two hours or more per day increases your diabetes risk by 14 percent. Drinking one regular soda per day raises your risk of type II diabetes by 83 percent!
- A waist size over 35 inches can increase your risk by 330 percent.
- Prediabetics typically develop type II diabetes within 10 years, but weight loss and exercise can cut the risk by half. Ask your primary doctor for a blood test or purchase lost cost blood sugar meter ($10 for meter and $0.36 per test strip).
- Caution to patients about using ginseng with diabetic medications or insulin; ginseng can alter the effects of these medications.
VIDEO: How does diabetes affect the eyes?
Why it’s Important to Get Regular Eye Exams
Comprehensive eye exams often are the first way chronic systemic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes are detected. Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure eye health and maintaining your best vision possible. They also check for diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.