Diabetic eye disease and eye problems are well known by most patients because their primary care physician and eye doctor tell them repeated about the need to for tight blood sugar control in order to prevent eye problems. But most patients with diabetes are unaware of some unexpected health problems that can be related to diabetes and can be easily overlooked.
Cognitive, Memory & Brain Function Decline
It is not uncommon for Type 2 Diabetics to experience diminished ability in memory recall and focus, as well as organizing, planning and completing tasks. Research shows that people with diabetes have abnormal blood flow to the brain, which affects function and activity. This explains why, with age, diabetics may experience slower mental performance. This is another reason why managing your diabetes requires a proactive effort to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for proper diet, exercise, medications, lifestyle and glucose levels, as well as scheduling regular follow up visits and keeping all appointments.
Did you know that diabetics are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as they age? The National Institutes of Health also reports that 30 percent of pre-diabetics, with higher-than-normal glucose levels, can experience hearing loss. The disease can affect the small blood vessels in the inner ear, causing impairment. Protect hearing by regularly monitoring blood sugar levels.
Gum & Periodontal Disease
Did you know that diabetics are more prone to developing periodontal disease, an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss? A study of 9,000 people at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health discovered that individuals with higher levels of periodontal disease were more likely to become diabetic within the next two decades, as compared to those without the disease. Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, making it even more difficult to control diabetes. Be proactive and prevent oral health and gum problems by brushing twice daily, flossing once each day and using an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
About 50 percent of diabetics experience obstructive sleep apnea. People who are obese and have a collar size of more than 17 for men or 16 for women are more likely to suffer from apnea when they sleep. Researchers reporting in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine noted that people with severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea may have a 30 percent higher risk for developing diabetes. OSA is an increases risk factor for many eye problems including glaucoma.
While these are some unexpected diabetic health problems, the avoidance and management of diabetic retinopathy is critical. The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment with regular eye exams. If you or someone you know is diabetic and needs an diabetic eye exam, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.
The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.