"Guest-blogger Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst N.Y. and has worked in the
ophthalmology field of medicine for over 30 years...
Today she talks about her subject of expertise! Enjoy... ;D)
SAVE YOUR SIGHT
I have been working in the health field for the last 30 years, specifically Ophthalmology, and have
noticed that there has been an up swing in diabetes and diabetes in the eyes. I do spend most of my time
working in Buffalo where the population is varied amongst many more types of people and it
seems that over 75% of our patients are diabetic and are not controlling their blood sugars. The great
thing about working in Ophthalmology is that we can spot diabetes in the eyes before many other
specialists detect it. The eye is the only place where the circulation can be viewed without any invasive
procedures; all you need are dilating drops to view someone’s overall health status. People come in all
week long with elevated blood sugars and many other health problems associated with this disease.
Diabetes can go along for many months or years undetected if people don’t go for regular health check
up’s and blood work. Many of our inner city people don’t always have the funds to follow their health
as they should and don’t realize that diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United
states and other countries today. It can be detected and monitored if people become pro active in their
health. With the way our health care situation is in this country, many people are caught and have
fallen between the cracks and place food and shelter before health needs.
Every week we do many laser treatments to the eyes, specifically to the retina which is most affected by
untreated diabetics. Laser treatment can stop swelling and the leaking blood vessels that damage the
eye and vision of these diabetics and are the only hope of halting the damage along with injections of
special medication to treat this disease. For some reason it seems that people are becoming diabetic
more frequently these days; when I began to work in this field, they were more few and far between.
Are we not taking care of ourselves; are we not eating properly or is the economy dictating how healthy
we can become. For all you diabetics out there, you must try and preserve your sight. Taking
medication for control is only part of the cure; eating habits are another. I am also seeing many more
over weight patients than ever before. There blood sugars range from 200 on up which is much too high
to maintain good health. Maybe we need to offer more free training and nutrition information to the
general public . Maybe we need to stop the enticing advertising on television and radio that prompt
our population to go out and buy these unhealthy foods and snacks.
There are many health conditions that have become out of control; we can prevent diabetes, it is not one of them.
If we are lucky enough to know what our family history is, then we need to be pro active in preventing
ourselves from becoming another diabetic. Start early in life taking care of yourself; if you find
yourselves in an un controlled diabetic condition, know that there are treatments out there to preserve
your eyesight. Don’t delay seeking help if you are having trouble seeing and if you are a diabetic. Don’t
let your vision slip away. Along with diabetics, we see diseases such as glaucoma and macular
degeneration that are treatable as well but do need the patients cooperation to take an active part in
their own prevention and cures. There are treatments out there for all these diseases so there is no
reason to Neglect your precious eyesight . Don’t take your vision for granted; get a checkup today and
insure a lifetime of good vision.