They say your eyes are the window to your soul, and they can also be a window into your health. Diabetes increases your risk of having glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and other eye problems. Eye care is important! Read below for 5 easy ways to keep those baby blues (or green, brown, or hazel!) in tip top shape.
1. Get to know your eye doctor: Your eye doctor is an important part of your diabetes care circle. Damage from diabetes usually shows up first in what are called the “end organs” of the body, referring to the fingers, toes, kidneys, and eyes. An annual dilated eye exam can reveal damage to the retina caused by high blood sugars and high blood pressure. Though you can’t feel these changes as they’re happening, the damage can lead to vision problems, and ultimately blindness, if not caught and treated early enough. Many of these issues are treated quite easily as long as they are detected in time. So be sure to visit your eye doc once a year!
2. Keep blood sugar steady: As blood sugar goes above or below the zone (for most people, a healthy zone is 80 – 180), the retina changes shape, causing changes in vision. If changes are minimal, so are the vision changes. Track your blood sugar changes on the Brook app, and check in with a Brook Expert on your private 1:1 channel for ideas on keeping blood sugar steady.
3. Wear your sunnies: Protect your eyes from harmful UV light. When outdoors during daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataract and other eye problems.
4. Get moving: Whether it’s a lot of steps or baby steps, exercise and movement in general is key. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO), some studies suggest that regular exercise — such as walking — can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
5. Give it a rest: If your daily work involves a computer, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look up from your computer every 20 minutes at an object 20 feet away, for twenty seconds. If eye fatigue persists, it can be a sign of several different conditions, such as dry eye, presbyopia, or spectacles with lenses that are not properly centered.
Chat soon 💬
Reviewed by Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN
on February 20, 2020. Kelsea is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.