Out of all my diabetes appointments, this is my least favourite. Not because I don't like the test, but because I'm always TERRIFIED I will hear bad news.
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As I have said before, I am not a perfect diabetic, but I do the best I can, but that doesn't guarantee me problem free eyes! I love my eyes, probably the one thing I don’t criticise- and I need them to see the things I want to see in the world!
So PLEASE go get your eyes tested twice a year. Once is not enough- it will not pick up a problem quick enough! Twice will. In the UK you are entitled to at least one eye examination a year- but your local optician may also offer free diabetic eye examinations- mine does! I don’t 100% know the protocol in the USA, but any American readers let me know!
Soooo...whilst I was there, I had a little chat with him about his top tips for diabetics and their eyes, so I thought I would share them with you!
Everyone has their own personal experience with their eyes, so if something feels out of place for you, then get it checked out! It is better to be safe rather than sorry.
Wear sunscreen on your eyes- ovi the eyelids- this is important, the eyes can actually get burnt quite easily, so don't forget them when protecting the rest of your skin! Remember that some anti-malaria tablets can make you more sensitive to the sun, so take extra precautions!
Prescription sunglasses- this is something I never considered bringing with me on my travels, but once my optician suggested it, I thought why not! Naturally being in South America is going to bring about a lot of sun exposure, so I may as well protect the eyes! I got a great pair- which are currently being fitted for me, so I shall post a picture of them when they arrive- I got a great deal too because I told my optician they were for travelling! Woo!
We should all avoid looking directly into the sun, whether we have diabetes or not, as looking into the sun can lead to damage to the retina, known as solar retinopathy.
If you want more information on looking after your eyes with diabetes, or how to spot the signs of retinopathy, check out these useful pages:
As the type 1 diabetic half of Dream Big, Travel Far, I'm passionate about encouraging fellow type 1's to travel the world and not let their diabetes hold them back. I'm proud to now be a full-time digital nomad. Meaning I live my life working and travelling all over the world and am here to help you achieve your dreams as well in any way I can.