Author: Kimberly Mistiszyn

Ways to Maintain Healthy Eyesight

Most times when I ask a new patient with diabetes why they are in my chair, rarely is it because they came on their own. To me, this means that this patient may not truly know how serious diabetes can be or how it can affect their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20-74 years old. Vision loss related to diabetes will triple between 2005 and 2050, in addition to the increases in diabetes itself. Diabetic retinopathy alone will be responsible for 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year. I advocate diabetes patients work with their health team to integrate medical nutrition therapy based on evidence-based recommendations as stated by Chous in Review of Optometry, which are as follows: A low carbohydrate/low fat, energy-restricted diet to achieve 5 – 7% weight loss in obese patients 150 minutes of exercise per week Increased dietary fiber intake (shown to slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trail (DCCT)) Elimination of trans fat intake Reduction of saturated fat intake (less than 10% of total caloric intake) Although there is no true consensus or specific recommendations in the scientific community, some nutritional supplements do biologically make sense in promoting vision and overall health. I can not stress enough to ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any supplement or exercise regimen. Here...

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Diabetic Retinopathy: An In-Depth Look

As a primary eye care practitioner, I am continually astonished by the number of diabetes patients I see who have either never had a dilated eye exam or feel they don’t require one (or at least not as often as I recommend). Then there are people with diabetes who are shocked to find out that their eye or vision problems are related to their diabetes. As an eye doctor, I am very aware of the link between diabetes and the potential for eye problems including blindness. One of our jobs as an eye care provider is to talk to our diabetes patients about the associated ocular health risks and dangers they may face as a result of their condition. One eye disease all people with diabetes should be aware of is diabetic retinopathy. If you are already aware of this disease, then I am offering a reminder of how important it is for your to understand the symptoms, treatments and what you can do to avoid this diabetes-related vision complication. It is at this point I recall the alarming statistics that come across my desk on a weekly basis. One of the most disturbing statistics to me is that diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in Americans 75 years of age or younger and the primary cause of new cases of blindness, most commonly from diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic...

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