When you have Diabetes, you will find that your blood glucose level is very high and needs treatment immediately. Diabetes occurs when people have too much glucose (sugar) in their blood; this is usually because of a poor diet and weight. Glucose is what gives us our energy so it is needed, but too much can be dangerous and life changing. According to The Diabetes Research Institute, worldwide, it afflicts more than 422 million people. Our body releases insulin to help the glucose enter our blood to then enter our cells. If you have diabetes, this system does not work meaning your pancreas no longer sense when glucose has entered your bloodstream and has not released the right amount of insulin. Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that comes in two forms:

  • Type 1 -  When you have this form, it means that your body can’t make any insulin at all. People with Type 1 diabetes are given insulin regularly to maintain their levels. The amount of insulin prescribed is based on food intake, exercise, stress, emotions and general health.
  • Type 2 - When you have this form, your body either can’t produce enough insulin or it doesn’t work effectively. According to NHS, this is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. Although your body may not effectively produce insulin, suffers will not be dependent on insulin. Instead, treatment will focus on their diet and exercise. 

 

 

The Affect on Your Body…

 

After having diabetes for a long period of time, it can start to have an effect on your body. Those who continue to have high glucose levels in their blood may experience damage to their:

  • Heart- diabetes doubles your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Eyes (cataract, glaucoma and retinal damage)
  • Kidneys — the ability to filter waste products from your blood 
  • Reproductive system — if you are pregnant and develop gestational diabetes you are at risk of high blood pressure. It is important for women that are pregnant to keep an eye out for preeclampsia and eclampsia 
  • Circulation — diabetes are at risk off developing high blood pressure which puts a further strain on your heart. 

If your pancreas produces little or no insulin, even when your body can’t use it, alternate hormones are used to turn fat into energy. This can be dangerous for your body as it meant that high levels of toxic chemicals are now in your body. These can include:

  • Acids
  • Ketone Bodies — which can leads to a condition known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis

 

 

Controlling the Disease

 As soon as you are diagnosed with diabetes, you should take steps to educate yourself about the disease and find out what you can do to control it. 

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to start eating healthier and increase your levels of exercise. Additionally, diabetics should be carrying out regular blood tests to ensure that their glucose levels are staying balanced and are not accelerating.

According to Healthy Line, foods to consider are:

  • Fatty Fish such as Salmon, Sardine and Mackerel are great sources of Omega-3
  • Greens — these are low in carbs meaning your blood sugar levels will stay low. Vegetables such as Spinach and Kale contain several types of vitamins and minerals 
  • Eggs — regular egg consumption can reduce your heart disease risk in 

If you take care and start controlling your diabetes, you will find that you will have more energy, be less tired and thirsty, have fewer skin or bladder infections and will generally heal better. The better you control your blood sugar levels, the less likely you are to develop serious conditions, most importantly in the early stages of your diagnosis.


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Keratoconus is a bilateral non-inflammatory eye condition that affects the development of your eye. Rather than your eye growing in a sphere shape, those with Keratoconus (also known as KC) develop a cone-shaped cornea that progressively things, causing a bulge to form on the eye. Sufferers of KC tend to suffer from significant visual impairment, requiring treatment.

On November 10th, we celebrate World KC Day sponsored by the National Keratoconus Foundation, a day that raises awareness nationally about the eye condition Keratoconus. The National Keratoconus Foundation are dedicated to raising awareness about Keratoconus to patients, families and eye care professionals through releasing literature and seminars, raising funds to support scientific research into causes treatment and a possible cure for the condition.

 

According to the National Keratoconus Foundation, symptoms include:
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • A halo around lights
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches and general eye pain
  • Eye irritation

Now you’re probably thinking who gets KC and what is the cause?

According to NHS England, Keratoconus affects up to one in 3000 people and affects 5–15% of people with Down syndrome. Typically, it is diagnosed in young people who are at puberty in their late teens or early twenties. 

The exact cause is unknown, which is why the National Keratoconus Foundation are investing so much time and effort into find a cause and a cure.

Currently, it is believed that genetics and environmental factors are an influence on the condition. However, scientists do not consider it to be an inherited disease although, in rare cases, some families encounter more than one individual who has been affected. 

To diagnose Keratoconus your optician or ophthalmologist will carry out a number of tests that will measure any changes to the shape of your cornea over time. The tests include focus checks to give you your prescription, a measurement of the curve of your cornea to work out how much astigmatism there is and also a measurement of how thick your cornea is. 

So how does it cause significant vision impairment?

The cornea is responsible for refracting most of the light that comes into our eyes. If there are abnormalities of the cornea, the was we see the world and do simple tasks is severely affected, making it difficult. As the eye is a cone shape rather than a sphere shape, an abnormal curvature is created known as an astigmatism. This can cause blurry vision, problems with glare and also light sensitivity. KC is also known to cause your eye to become more myopic (short-sighted) making distant objects appear blurred, while those nearer are clearer. 

Occasionally, people with the condition can develop hydrops which is a sudden outbreak in the surface of the cornea, allowing fluid to enter the cornea and cause swelling. This symptom call cause vision loss and discomfort. However, this will usually resolve spontaneously and does not require treatment. 

Can KC be treated?

The main treatment used to help those who have KC is to try and correct the vision impairments caused by the condition. To begin with, patients are given glasses. However, if the condition worsens, your optometrist may suggest hard contact lenses to help correct your sight. These lenses tend to be thicker and heavier than the soft kind and can also cause your vision to be distorted when you are looking through the edge of the lens. Despite this, they provide a more even shape to your cornea which helps improve your ability to focus. If you are prescribed lenses, you may find that you are having to change your glasses frequently due to your cornea being thinner and more flexible because of the condition. 

In addition to a prescription of contacts and glasses, doctors may consider Corneal Cross-Linking. Corneal Cross-Linking is where doctors use special eye drops and ultraviolet A(UVA) light to help the damaged tissue in your cornea grow stronger. 

This process stops the bulge on the eye getting worse as it adds special bonds that work like support beams to help the cornea stay stable. 

If you do have or develop this lifelong condition, it is important to understand the nature of it so that you can learn to embrace it. Having a lack of knowledge incites fear so it’s best that you do your research and ask your doctor/ophthalmologist all the question you have. Join support groups for those who are living with Keratoconus and find out how they find living with the condition and get advice from those who are dealing with it first hand. 


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It’s the first Wednesday of November, meaning it’s National Stress Awareness Day. 

Stress is your body’s response to demands that your body has taken on and also events that are occurring in your life. This can be brought on due to fears, a loss of a loved one, overload of work, money problems, the responsibility of raising a family plus many more reasons, everyone has experienced mild to severe stress in their lifetimes. 

Regardless of the severity, it is important to manage stress effectively because if it becomes overwhelming, it could have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. 

 

 It's also Hug a Bear Day today! Grab your favourite plush toy to help with the stress.

According to Medical News Today (2018), there has been a new analysis of clinic reports and existing research. Findings have shown that stress is not only a consequence of vision loss, but also a cause.

Although this is not common, it is frequently found that people are experiencing stress-related eye problems. These include:

  • Tunnel vision: Your peripheral vision may be decreasing, meaning you can only see clearly ahead of you 
  • Sensitivity to light: You may find yourself turning down or completely turning off your lights due to the brightness hurting your eyes or causing discomfort
  • Eye twitching: You may be experiencing random eye spasms
  • Eye floaters: You may find yourself seeing light spots that move around your vision
  • Migraines: A moderate to severe headache that usually occurs on one side of your head. Associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound
  • Central Serous Retinopathy: This occurs when fluid starts building up in your retina. Although there is no exact cause, stress is believed to be a factor that triggers the disease. Central Serous Retinopathy can be detected through the dilation of your eye and an eye exam and usually clears up on its own after a few months with the vision being good although, there are some cases where people have found that their vision is not as clear as it once used to be. 

So what can you do to help eye problems that are stress-related?

 

Take a step back and relax.

 

Your symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something is going wrong. 

 

Don’t ignore the warning signs. 

 

It’s important to get enough rest and make sure you are eating/drinking properly. As well as this, you should try to find ways to reduce the amount of stress your mind and body are taking on. Some people find that taking baths, meditation, exercising, drawing and many more activities are excellent ways to unwind after a stressful day. 

 

If you are stressed due to work, Mind have recommended that employers should start conversations about stress in the workplace. By doing so, staff will be able to share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed. If your workplace does not have these types of conversations, speak to your employer about implementing something that will help you and your co-workers. 

 

Once you have dealt with the cause of what has been causing you stress, your eye problems should go away over a period of time. If you feel that it could be more than just stress, arrange an appointment to see your GP or your local Optometrist. 


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It’s Guy Fawkes Night and Londoners will light thousands of fireworks to celebrate the occasion. But although the sky will be ablaze with colourful light, there are some things to keep in mind if you value your safety.

 

As researchers have found, the eye is the most frequently injured body part related to use of fireworks, accounting for more than 2,000 injuries every year. In the UK, 10 people lose their sight and around 300 people suffer serious eye injuries as a result of accidents caused by fireworks. Operating fireworks unsafely can cause scratches to the cornea, chemical and thermal burns or, in rare cases, rupture your eyes.

 

So while it’s definitely a fun experience to watch a fireworks show, remember these rules:

  1. Let the professionals do it

    Visit an organised display or hire a professional to take care of all of your fireworks needs.
  2. Shield your eyes

    Wear protective gear, even if you wear regular glasses. Look for polycarbonate lenses or other forms of protection.
  3. Think of the children

    Make sure that any kids attending a fireworks show are at a safe distance and do not let them play with the fireworks, even sparklers.
  4. Do not touch lit fireworks

    If the fireworks didn’t go off, don’t attempt to go back to check on them. Sometimes it takes a while due to a damaged fuse. If they don’t go off at all, contact your nearest fire department.

 

If for any reason you or somebody else has an accident, follow these rules:

  1. Call an ambulance

    The quicker you get help, the less damage your eyes are.
  2. Do not touch your eyes

    Do not rub, rinse or apply any creams or other substances to your eyes. Let a professional help you, otherwise you risk increasing the damage done to your vision.

 

Fireworks are fun! Enjoy the night show and remember: it’s better safe than sorry.


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Halloween is fast approaching, everyone is getting their costumes ready, the hair, the make up and the accessories - including contacts. Coloured contacts are very popular around this time of year as they give people a chance to change the colour of their eyes and become a completely different person and enhance their costumes. 

But did you know that decorative contacts can be frightfully damaging to your eyes? The lasting affects will haunt you. 

As you are able to buy these contacts without presciptions, it is typical to think that they can't be that harmful if you can buy them over the counter or online...but that's not the case. 

If the retailer doesn't ask for a prescription...STAY AWAY. Even if you think that your vision is perfect and you have never had to wear contacts or glasses previously it is still crucial that you have an eye examination to make sure that you are purchasing the correct type of lens to avoid lasting damage. This type of damage can include:

  • Corneal ulcers
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Vision impairment 
  • Blindness

These are just a few. The effects can range from mild irritation to a severe eye infection that can lead to the loss of your vision.

Take Laura Butler for example. Laura spent a simple $30 on her contacts, bargain right? Wrong.

Laura ended up spending $2000 on medical bills because of the contacts. She had purchased them from a beach shop without solution or instructions and still went ahead and popped them in. Hours later she was in excruciating pain and was unable to remove them from her eyes for 20 minutes as they had become stuck. When she went to the doctors, she was told that the damage was similar to sandpaper being rubbed on her cornea and that she could lose her eyesight or maybe even her eye. She had to be treated for 7 weeks and had a drooping eye lid for several of those weeks. Up until now, her vision has not recovered to the state it had been previously. 

The production of contact lenses in the UK is not regulated by UK law meaning that there is a higher risk of damaging your eyes. Low quality contacts can sometimes contact heavy toxins such as mercury and lead which can seep into the wearer's eye and then into the nervous system, which could end up being fatal. When inserting contact lenses, the cornea is most vulnerable to damage. The cornea is a sensitive tissue in the eye that can be easily damaged by inexperienced contact wearers. Damage such as a tear can lead to a bacterial infection such as Acanthamoeba Keratitus in the eye. 

Here's some tips if you are going to wear coloured contacts:

  • Have an eye exam. This will allow an ophthalmologist to measure your eye and give you recommendations on how to look after it during and after contact wear
  • Avoid buying contacts without prescriptions. Make sure that when you purchase a pair, it has a brand name, measurements, an expiry date and instructions
  • Follow the lens care guide step by step including instructions on how to wear, disinfect and clean
  • Purchase contacts for yourself and yourself only. Sharing contacts increases the risk of bacteria which will affect you and the person you shared the contacts with
  • Avoid wearing them for long hours 
  • Book a follow up appointment. Once all the fun and games have ended and it's time to put Dracula's cape away, be sure to book an appointment to see your ophthalmologist to make sure there is no damage 

By making sure you get your contacts fitted properly, you're guaranteed to have a night of trick or treat fun, not a trip to your local A&E. 


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