By Martha Miller Johnson
Through an annual dilated-eye exam, an eye doctor can see the effects of blood glucose levels on your body. For eye health, it's important to reach and maintain your A1C target and control your blood pressure. Paul Chous, O.D., M.A., FAAO, an optometrist in Maple Valley, Washington, who specializes in diabetes care and lives with type 1 diabetes, suggests his patients protect their eyes by keeping their A1C at 6.5 percent or lower and blood pressure at 130/80 mmHg or lower.
He recommends early and regular dilated-eye exams by an optometrist or ophthalmologist with experience in diabetes. "You should do it immediately after being diagnosed," Chous says. "At the time of diagnosis for type 2 diabetes, 20-30 percent of patients already have bleeding in the back of their eyes." Damage to the blood vessels in the retina, called retinopathy, can cloud vision. Laser surgery is one possible treatment, but some vision may be lost.
Many people with diabetes wonder if eye supplements can help save their vision. Find out more about five major types of supplements on the market and whether they might be an option for you to protect vision health. Always be sure to consult with your health care professional when considering a supplement.
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