Health

Diabetes? Assemble Your Healthcare Team Early

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Sudden changes in your eyesight can be an early warning sign of diabetes.#If you or someone you know experiences blurred vision, frequent urination, unusual thirst or fatigue, it could signal this condition.#Since the doctors at Georgia Eye Associates see patients everyday with diabetes, they are on alert for potential warning signs.#Should they suspect this condition, a complete history, refraction and a dilated eye examination will be performed to test for diabetes and/or diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes affects the ability of our body to convert the food we eat into energy.#The vast majority of people with this condition are diagnosed later in life, with more than 50% being unaware they have it. Generally, these people have what is called “Type 2 Diabetes” which means the illness can be controlled through diet and exercise and sometimes medication usually without insulin.##In “Type 2” cases, insulin does not work properly causing glucose (sugar) to malfunction and either become too high or too low in the blood.

High blood sugar levels affiliated with diabetes can damage blood vessels in the retina.#When retinal vessels are damaged it is referred to as diabetic retinopathy.#If you”ve been diagnosed with diabetes it is vital to have your eyes checked a minimum of once a year.##People who are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy should be seen more frequently, as retinopathy is a very serious threat to sight.#Strict control of a diabetic”s blood sugar can significantly reduce the chances of forming retinopathy as well as other complications such as foot, kidney, heart and nerve diseases.

According to the American Diabetes Association, being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role.#If you are diagnosed, assemble your diabetic health care team early.#This will include a general practitioner or endocrinologist, eye doctor, podiatrist and dietician.

Anyone can develop “Type 1” diabetes anytime.#In these cases, insulin injections are necessary.#To learn more about diabetes, visit#www.aoa.org#and or#www.diabetes.org.

From:# Georgia Eye Associates, Lawrenceville, GA, 770-995-5408.# www.GeorgiaEyeAssociates.com