Eye checks urged

Di­a­betes risk Su­gar level changes can dam­age reti­nas

Central and North Burnett Times - - ALL ABOUT DIABETES -

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.

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