Keeping diabetes in control is key to slowing the progression of vision complications like diabetic retinopathy. There are important steps people with diabetes can take to keep their health on TRACK:
▪ Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
▪ Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
▪ Add physical activity to your daily routine.
▪ Control your ABC’s—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
▪ Kick the smoking habit.
Additionally, people with diabetes should have annual comprehensive dilated eye exams to help protect their sight. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care can reduce a person’s risk for severe vision loss from diabetic eye disease by
“More than ever, it’s important for people with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. New treatments are being developed all the time, and we are learning that different treatments may work best for different patients. What hasn’t changed is that early treatment is always better,” says Dr. Suber Huang, chair of the Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee for NEI’s National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) and member of the NEI-funded Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net). “There has never been a more hopeful time in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy,” he adds.
Remember, if you have diabetes, make annual comprehensive dilated eye exams part of your self-management routine. Living with diabetes can be challenging, but you don’t have to lose your vision or
go blind because of it. To help friends and loved ones reduce their risk, share this article.
For more information on diabetic eye disease, tips on finding an eye care professional, or information on financial assistance, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/diabetes or call NEI at 301–496–5248.