Currently in the United States about one in ten people have been diagnosed as having diabetes. As bad as that number is, it is projected to climb even higher. It is estimated that by 2050 that number will be somewhere between 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 people. Why is this happening and what can you do to help prevent diabetes?
We probably all know the reasons this increase is occurring. We are sitting too much, watching too much instead of doing, eating too much and we are eating the wrong types of food. Our nutrition in this nation as a whole has been neglected and we aren’t exercising enough. We are eating too much fast food, too many refined carbohydrates, too much fat and we are not walking and playing and working hard physically. Our bodies were made for vegetables and fruits and lots of physical activity. Most of us need to do better with nutrition and exercise.
So get up and start walking. Drop that extra weight. Eat your veggies instead of that donut. Get rid of that super-sized soda. I promise you , you do not want to have diabetes. I know because I have type 2 diabetes. I have to walk the walk. I have to practice what I preach because I don’t want to lose my eyesight or kidney function or the ability to be physically active.
So what does diabetes have to do with your eyes and your vision? Plenty!
First, if your blood sugars are not stable, the focus of your eyes will be unstable as well. The amount of farsightedness or nearsightedness that you show will change from one day to the next and from one part of the day to another if your blood sugars are out of control. If your blood sugars are out of control, your glasses won’t work for you very well. On the other hand, the better you control your blood sugars the more stable your focus becomes.
Diabetes can also accelerate cataract formation and it can put you at higher risk for glaucoma. There also exists correlation between macular degeneration and diabetes.
The biggest eye-health concern we have with diabetes, however, is in regards to the health of the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is a big concern for those who have been diabetic for a long time and for those whose blood sugars are high and/or unstable. The longer you have had diabetes the greater your risk becomes that you will develop diabetic retinopathy. Conversely, the better you control your blood sugars and the more stable your blood sugars are the lower your risk of diabetic retinopathy. What is diabetic retinopathy?