Caring for Diabetes: Eyes and Body
Diabetes can affect the body in many ways, and you may have heard that it can cause eye problems and even lead to blindness. People with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes, however, there is good news: Most diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented.
There are several steps that you can take to lower your risk of diabetic eye problems: First, control of blood sugar lowers the risk of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic cataracts. Second, high blood pressure control is also important, since high blood pressure can make eye problems worse. Third, avoid tobacco. Fourth, visit your eye doctor (an optometrist or ophthalmologist) regularly. Many recommend that people with diabetes have a thorough eye exam by an eye doctor at least once a year. It’s especially important to visit your eye doctor if you develop:
- blurry vision
- trouble reading
- double vision
- spots or floaters in your eyesight
- eye pain or pressure
- redness in one or both eyes
- or other concerning symptoms
Dr. Jeffery Kerr, board certified endocrinologist, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about how diabetes can affect the eyes.
Diabetes can affect all parts of the body and diabetic nerve damage can turn an ordinary scrape, cut or burn into a serious issue. You can help prevent wounds from developing by knowing your risk factors and making healthy lifestyle changes. You are at higher risk for a diabetic foot ulcer if you have:
- poor blood circulation
- a foot deformity (such as a bunion or a hammer toe)
- inappropriate shoes
- uncontrolled blood sugar
- or a history of a foot ulcer in the past
Lifestyle habits that can help minimize the growth of foot ulcers and other wounds include:
- choosing healthy eating habits
- managing your weight
- being physically active
- wearing appropriate footwear
- avoiding tobacco
- and following your doctor’s advice about certain medicines
The earlier a wound is detected; the better treatment outcomes normally are. A wound may be apparent after a cut, scrape, burn, or surgery, but sometimes a wound is less obvious. If you find an open sore on the skin of your foot, visit your doctor right away. Do not wait for pain, fever, pus, or redness to develop. At each of your visits with your diabetes doctor, take off your socks and shoes. The nurse or doctor can look for wounds and check for risk factors for skin ulcers.
Dr. Jeffery Kerr, board certified endocrinologist, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about why it's important to take good care of cuts and scrapes when you have diabetes.