National Diabetes Awareness Month
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and we want to take the time to not only bring awareness to the effect diabetes can have on your eyes but also on the effects the disease can have on your overall health.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions in school-age youth in the United States, affecting about 193,000 youth under 20 years old.”
Diabetes can lead to blurry vision and is often one of the first warning signs of diabetes. Several causes can stem from diabetes, as it may be a sign your glucose level is not in the right range — either too high or too low.
Over time, high blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. That can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar can also lead to cataracts and glaucoma, which happen earlier and more often when you have diabetes. Some of the symptoms of eye damage conditions include floaters or spots in your field of vision. Many of the symptoms may be very mild at first, which is why we stress the importance of regular eye exams for diabetics, in particular, to provide early detection of treatable eye problems
While Type I Diabetes is usually discovered at a young age and requires insulin injections to maintain the body’s proper blood sugar levels, Type 2 Diabetes (which is usually controlled with diet, exercise, and oral medication) can eventually lead to insulin injection dependency. The key to helping avoid diabetes is proper exercise, diet, and weight management.
Diabetes can have negative effects on all parts of the body. It can cause problems with the circulatory system, the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and vision.
There are several ways to help reduce the probability of developing diabetes. Nearly 80% of people who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are considered overweight. It is easy to say that weight loss is the first way to help reduce your chances of developing this disease. While many people may be overwhelmed at losing 40 to 50 pounds, take small steps. Simply losing 10 pounds can have a positive effect on your body.
By losing the extra weight, it allows your body to function more normally and reduce the stresses that the extra weight but on your body. Exercise also helps the body to function normally by helping the body to burn off the excess sugar. This reduces the strain on your body and the amount of insulin needed to help convert the sugar into energy.
Making healthy choices and taking steps to manage your diabetes can ensure you don’t just live but thrive with diabetes. But it’s important to take steps now-your health can’t wait. It’s time to thrive by finding a balance of nutrition, physical activity and mental health management.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.