Coping and Support for Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It can cause vision loss and blindness if left untreated. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy:
- Control your blood sugar: High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in your eyes. Keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy. Work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan to manage your blood sugar levels.
- Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol: High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can also damage the blood vessels in your eyes. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk.
- Get regular eye exams: Regular eye exams are essential for detecting and treating diabetic retinopathy early. Your healthcare provider can recommend how often you need to have your eyes examined based on your individual needs.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet: Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and manage your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
- Take your medication as prescribed: If you have diabetes, it is essential to take your medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and prevent or delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy.
Remember, early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy are crucial to preserving your vision. If you experience any changes in your vision, such as blurred or distorted vision, contact your healthcare provider immediately.