Eye checks urged
Diabetes risk Sugar level changes can damage retinas
FLUCTUATING blood sugar levels can damage the retina, causing light sensitivity, blurred vision and problems recognising people.
“By 2030, diabetes could become the leading cause of blindness,” said Brian Doolan, chief executive officer of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
With an estimated 156 million people at risk within two decades, Mr Doolan urged Australians with diabetes to have their eyesight checked regularly.
Guardian pharmacist Stephanie Tucker said: “Diabetes Australia recommend an eye examination every two years after a diagnosis of diabetes, even if blood glucose is good.
“There’s no distinction for diabetes type, and there may be no symptoms of eye damage until the condition is very advanced.”
Because diabetes can damage micro vessels transporting blood, other organs, such as the bladder, kidneys and feet, can also be affected.
Every six to 12 months, feet should be checked for signs of tingling, numbness, pain, discolouration or impaired healing, Ms Tucker said.
Blood sugar levels can be moderated through diet, exercise and tablets or insulin injections, she said.
Guardian Pharmacies at Gayndah and Mundubbera offer professional services to those with, or at risk of, diabetes.
Staff can conduct in-store checks of blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and discuss risk factors.
For advice and support consult a GP, or the National Diabetes Services Scheme educator who visits Gayndah Hospital once a month.
Fact sheets are at www .diabetesaustralia.com.au.