This presentation is one of a six part series on eye health. This one has a focus on diabetes and its effect on the eyes. Tune in to hear how the eyes can indicate diabetes and how diabetes can affect the eye.
Question: Is it possible to never lose or have a decrease in one’s vision? And what would a diabetic eye exam entail?
Dr. Coney: I tell my patients, particularly those that have not had any vision loss. There’s no reason you need to have any vision loss. If you keep your appointments, because if I diagnose you early and diagnose you on time, I can preserve your vision. For a diabetic exam we need to see behind the eye. We can see what’s going on behind their eyes simply by just making a pupil bigger. We give ’em a couple drops that they sit in the office for about 15, 20 minutes, the eyes get bigger, they become dilated. And then we can take a look behind the eye.We can see diabetic retinopathy even before there’s any vision loss, we can see the calories dropping out. We can see the blood vessels growing. We can see all these things.
What type of foods are good for vision?
Dr. Coney: Well, you know, the carrot is good for the eyes because there’s beta keratin that we need for the eyes. But the most important thing for the eyes are green, leafy vegetables such as collard green scale broccoli, spinach, typically the larger the leaf, the better it’s for the eye, because they have antioxidant properties and they can slow down the aging process. Typically we recommend this for macular degeneration patients because they have a normal aging process of the center, part of the eye where those antioxidants are very high over time. And it destroys the back of the eye. That’s why it’s called degeneration. Other things for the eyes are fish. Eat the omega-3 or the fatty fish, the one with the omega threes, such as the salmon, the tuna, the herrings.
What kinds of things should be done to protect the eyes during the summer?
Dr. Coney: People always wanna know, is there anything protective they can do for their eyes? People wonder if the blue light from the computer is affecting their eyes. I get that question a lot. Unfortunately, we don’t have the clinical data that suggests what long term effects blue light has. You have to take a break. So I use the 20, 20, 20 rule, every 20 minutes look, 20 feet away. Look at an object for about 20 seconds that will relax those muscles. That’s really, really, really important. We know that ultraviolet light is also very damaging. Particularly UVA and UVB, UVB are known for being the worst for around the skin and the eyes. You wanna make sure you purchase glasses that say UV protection, glasses that block at least 40. I think it’s 490, nanometers. That also means UV light. That means it’s blocking 99 to a hundred percent of that UV light polarized glasses are different polarized glasses doesn’t mean that you’re blocking UV light. It has to be said that in there there’s two separate ways to make those glasses, but polarized glasses are basically decreasing the glare that comes in your eyes.
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