What is a diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that damages the blood vessel in the retina. Left untreated, this condition can lead to blindness. But how can you prevent something you do not know you have? Here the signs or symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
  • Difficulty with color perception
  • Blurred vision

If you have experienced any of the symptoms, chances are you have retinopathy. But guess what? It is not the end of the world. Because you show signs of retinopathy does not mean life is over. It is all about taking the necessary steps to prevent or slow down the disease. Here are some steps on managing the condition.

Prevent Tip: Get yearly eye exam

When was the last time you got your eyes checked? If you cannot even remember, then there is no way to tell how bad your eyesight has gotten. As a diabetic, it is vital you get yearly eye exams to ensure safety of your vision. Even if you do not have diabetic retinopathy, at least get an eye examination every 2 years.

Prevent Tip: Tell your doctor about any vision changes

You would take your car to the mechanic if it was having issues. So if you are having changes in your vision, its best to inform your eye doctor.

Prevent Tip: Eat healthy

Besides retinopathy, eating healthy will solve a lot of health issues that you may have. Aim to eat a well-balanced meal. Also, keep salt intake down to regulate blood pressure levels. If you can afford it, hire a dietitian to plan meals.

Prevent Tip: Perform weekly moderate exercise

Like eating healthy, moderate exercise delivers several health benefits, including prevention of retinopathy.  Getting at least 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise per week will do wonders for your overall health.  Being active 5 days per week for 30 minutes is a great way to start. Make sure you consult with your doctor first to determine what type of exercises you can do.  Also, if you can afford to, hire a personal trainer.

Prevent Tip: Take medication as prescribed

As a diabetic, I understand it is tough to keep with medicine intake. But if you want to continue to “see” your medicine, take it as your doctor prescribed.

Follow each prevent tip to keep your vision. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed if you are willing to do what it takes to manage it. Just take it day by day and slowly incorporate each tip. It will not be easy but it can be done.