The best way to preserve your vision is to control your blood glucose. “When you have vision loss from diabetes, it also indicates that your blood glucose levels are abnormal,” says Raj Maturi, MD, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at Indiana University School of Medicine and partner at the Midwest Eye Institute in Indianapolis. High blood pressure and kidney problems are also risk factors for diabetic retinopathy. Maturi suggests that you follow these guidelines to protect your vision and enjoy a better quality of life:
1. Do your best to control your blood glucose daily.
2. Keep your A1C (an overall measure of blood glucose control) in your target range.
3. Avoid extreme and frequent blood glucose highs and lows (even if your A1C is on target).
4. Eat a healthy diet.
5. Do aerobic exercise to improve vascular function. If you’ve been diagnosed with proliferative retinopathy, detached retina, or other eye problems, you may be advised against certain exercises.
6. Maintain good eye protection habits, such as wearing sunglasses to reduce UV light exposure and taking a multivitamin that contains vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc. The National Eye Institute studied high-dose vision supplements and found that 500 miligrams of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, 15 miligrams of beta-carotene, and 8 miligrams of zinc reduced vision loss from advanced age-related macular degeneration in some people. Talk to your doctor before taking supplements for eye health.
Learn more about diabetes-related eye disease.
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