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Diabetes And Sight Loss

How can Diabetes affect my vision?

It’s possible that your diabetes won’t cause any changes to your vision. However, diabetes can affect your eyes in a number of ways:

The changes in blood sugar levels caused by diabetes can affect the lens inside your eye, especially when your diabetes isn’t controlled. These changes can result in your vision blurring, which can change from day to day, depending on your blood sugar levels.

Diabetes can cause the lens in your eye to become cloudy. This condition is known as a cataract. This happens because the high sugar levels found in the fluid around the lens causes the lens to swell with more water than usual. The lens then focuses light differently on the retina at the back of the eye, and this may cause your spectacle prescription to change as your cataract develops. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to develop a cataract, and at an earlier age too, when compared to people without diabetes.

Some people with diabetes develop glaucoma, an eye condition that can cause damage to the optic nerve. This is often because of raised pressure inside the eye.

When diabetes affects the network of blood vessels supplying the retina at the back of the eye, this is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can cause the blood vessels to become blocked, to leak or to grow incorrectly. There are different types of diabetic retinopathy, and it can be worse for some people than for others, depending on the severity of the changes to the blood vessels.

Not everyone who has diabetes develops an eye condition

For more Information on Diabetes and Sight visit RNIB

Insulin and Diabetes 

Insulin is a hormone that allows sugar to move from the blood into the cells where it is used for energy. 

If insulin does not do its job properly, then sugar builds up in the blood. This is what happens in diabetes. There are two ways in which diabetes occurs:

- (Type 1) The body is producing no insulin 

- (Type 2) The insulin produced does not work properly or there is not enough of it

Why should I worry about Diabetes 

Diabetes can lead to serious complications such as sight loss, kidney problems, heart disease, and infections. 

You are at greater risk of diabetes if you:

- Are from an Asian, African-Caribbean or minority ethnic group over 25

- Are overweight 

- Have family history of diabetes 

- Have high blood pressure, heart disease or a history of heart attacks

- Have polycystic ovary syndrome and are overweight 

What should I look out for  

Diabetes can only be diagnosed with a blood test but the following symptoms are associated with diabetes. If you are concerned go and see your doctor.

- Thirst 

- Going to the toilet more often, especially at night

- Extreme tiredness

- Weight loss

- Genital itching or regular thrush

- Slow healing of wounds

- Blurred vision 


Prevention 

The balance of good health means eating a variety of foods from different food groups:

- 30% Fruit and Vegetables (at least 5 portions a day)

- 30% Starchy foods

- 10% dairy products 

- 10% protein 

- Only 10% fat and sugar

Why eat healthy? 

Healthy eating can help reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It also helps you lose weight and feel good!

As with any healthy eating program, a diabetic diet is more about your overall dietary pattern rather than obsessing over specific foods. Aim to eat more natural, unprocessed food and less packaged and convenience foods.

Eat more

- Healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados

- Fruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colourful the better; whole fruit rather than juices

- High-fiber cereals and breads made from whole grains

- Fish and shellfish, organic chicken or turkey

- High-quality protein such as eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yogurt

Eat less

- Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods

- Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts

- White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice

- Processed meat and red meat

- Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt


Exercise 

If you have a sight problem, exercise can seem daunting. You may also be older, not used to physical activity or affected by poor mobility. At ABA we exercise together and have fun. We would like to share some ideas that might help you get healthy and fit.

Why exercise?

Exercise makes you feel goof and it helps protect you again diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Make sure you check with your doctor if you have any health problems before you start. 

How much?

Start small and build slowly! Don’t set yourself impossible targets. Aim for targets you know do. Eventually you may be able to do little exercise for half an hour every day. 

What counts as exercise? 

Anything which makes you feel warmer, and a little breathless. 

What can you do?

- Do things you enjoy. Don’t make it a chore. Here are some ideas: 

- Try not to sit around for more than 30 minutes 

- Walk around the garden or walk up and down the stairs a number of times

- If you do housework, why not do it with music? Move your body!



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