The eyes have it! We focus on eyecare

Vital vision care as spring’s sunshine puts bright eyes into focus. In this feature we look at general care, ascertain how you can keep an eye on dealing with diabetic retinopathy and take a peek at some eye diseases and how diet can play a role in their prevention.

See the full article in the lastest issue of the Desang Online Magazine.

Spring has sprung, which comes as a relief for many bored of cold, wet winter. Yet sunshine alone can make eyes sore and tired and apparently now more and more of us that ever before have hayfever. While some react to tree pollen in springtime, others to the grasses that can be throwing their pollen into the air until July. It’s even possible to get hayfever reactions in autumn due to late flowering plants, nettles, docks and mould spores. And, unless you live in deep countryside or at the coast, pollution is no friend to our peep-holes either.

Most of us know the irritation of sore, tired, itchy or dry eyes, and the lovely red-eye they can create. Some products just sooth, others add in some extra assistance. For best results, you’re likely to have to apply drops on a regular basis, so keep the bottle with you. For lotions, a morning and night application is probably recommended. As these are your eyes, no matter what you do remember that the delicate eye area should be treated gently at all times – you’ll be reminded to do so if they’re sore already.

If you suffer from dry-eyes associated with diabetes, you might want to give Optrex Actimist Eye Spray a go. If you don’t like using drops this light spray is used on closed eyes. The spray is made from the same ingredient as your natural tear film but contains vitamins A and E. It acts by reducing the loss of moisture from the eye and helps restore the natural moisture balance for relief from dry, irritated eyes. A shelf life of 3 years means you can use it until the bottle is finished, with no need to throw the bottle away after the 28 days, like many drop treatments. Other eye care products to consider to relief dry eyes include Viscotears and Lacrilube.  All of these are available at most chemists.

Diabetic retinopathy is a relatively common complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in adults under the age of 65. It is estimated that 25% of people with type 1 diabetes will have some degree of diabetic retinopathy five years after their symptoms first develop. But don’t be downhearted, it’s not inevitable. Also, if diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, the outlook for the condition is good. Research has found that treatment can prevent severe vision loss in 90% of cases of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy can be treated by laser surgery to prevent further damage to the eyes. In 2005 the NHS launched a screening programme so that everyone with diabetes who is 12 years of age or over should receive a retinal examination once a year. If you quality and have not had one within the last year, pick up the phone and call your diabetes care team and book one. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is the most effective way to prevent vision loss.

Further information:

Desang Diabetes Magazine is our free-to-receive digital journal (see below). We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes ‘kit’ such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring equipment) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet including a regular Making Carbs Count column. We just need your email address to subscribe you (it really is free, and you can easily unsubscribe should you wish to).

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