Healthy Lifestyle Changes and Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
By Walter Choate on February 28, 2017
Routine eye care is beneficial to everyone, and should be considered an important part of a person’s overall health care regimen. While all individuals should be sure to schedule regular eye exams, there are certain people who are at a higher risk of developing eye diseases and, therefore, should be particularly vigilant about receiving professional eye care.
Diabetes is one condition that can be especially harmful to the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy causes vision problems that can eventually lead to total blindness, Diabetic patients are at a high risk of developing this condition, especially when blood sugar levels are not kept under control.
Dr. Walter Choate offers treatment for diabetic retinopathy to help patients preserve their vision. However, at home care is equally important. Here, Dr. Choate discusses how healthy lifestyle changes and diabetic retinopathy treatment can help our Nashville, TN patients avoid serious vision problems.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy tend to be mild when the condition is in its early stages. In fact, many patients remain asymptomatic for quite some time. However, as the condition progresses, it is likely to have a significant impact on a person’s vision. Below are some of the most common symptoms of advanced diabetic retinopathy:
- Blurred vision
- Floaters or spots in the field of vision
- A loss of distinction between colors
- Hazy or cloudy vision
Treating Diabetic Retinopathy with Lifestyle Changes
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that is a direct result of uncontrolled diabetes. Therefore, treatment for diabetic retinopathy begins with getting a patient’s blood sugar levels under control. Medication such as insulin is a great choice for patients who have diabetes.
However, lifestyle changes are also important for anyone with diabetes. Healthy lifestyle changes complement diabetic retinopathy treatment and help patients avoid visual disturbances and long-term vision loss. Patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy should consider the following lifestyle changes:
- Adopt a healthy diet: A person’s diet is the factor that has the greatest impact on blood sugar levels. It is important to be mindful of what types of nutrients are entering the body. Meals should be a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, and protein. Diabetic patients should try to avoid the empty calories that come from junk food and sweets.
- Get active: Everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of activity three to five times a week. This healthy habit can be especially beneficial to diabetic patients. Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing the amount of glucose used by the body. A healthy diet and exercise also assist patients in maintaining a healthy weight. Since obesity is a leading risk of diabetic retinopathy, these habits are highly recommended for diabetic patients.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is another habit that increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Any diabetic who smokes or uses tobacco products should seriously consider quitting.
- Seek regular medical treatment: Diabetic patients should see their general physician and eye doctor regularly. These routine appointments allow for early diagnosis of any diabetic complications that may develop, which allows for prompt treatment.
Regular eye exams are an important tool for patients with diabetes. If you are looking for a trusted eye doctor to care for your eyes and vision, contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about the comprehensive range of eye care services offered by Dr. Walter Choate.
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“I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam.” Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient