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Celebrate Your Beautiful Eyes During Hispanic Heritage Month!
During Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) National Eye Health Education Program is encouraging Hispanics/Latinos to make eye health a priority. We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month starting on September 15.
If you’re Hispanic/Latino and age 40 or older, you have a 50 percent chance of getting type 2 diabetes, which can lead to diabetic eye disease. Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with type 2 diabetes may get as a result of the disease.
Diabetic eye disease includes:
- Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels in the retina (the back of the eye) and can cause vision loss and blindness. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk.
- Cataracts cause clouding of the eye lens that affects vision.
- Glaucoma damages the optic nerve and can cause vision loss and blindness
Diabetic eye disease often has no early warning signs. The best way to keep it from causing vision loss or blindness is to find and treat it early — or to prevent it altogether!
Here are 5 tips for keeping your eyes healthy:
- Get regular eye exams. Make an appointment to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Eye exams can help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat. And keep in mind that if you have diabetes, you need to get an eye exam at least once a year.
- Know your family’s eye health history. Ask your family members if diabetes, cataracts, or glaucoma run in your family. If they do, you can talk with your doctor about your risk.
- Eat right to protect your sight. Fruits and vegetables are good for your eyes — especially dark, leafy greens like kale. Also try to eat fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids — like salmon, tuna, and halibut.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of health conditions that can lead to vision loss. If you’re having a hard time staying at a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.
- Get active. Anything that gets your heart beating faster — like taking a quick walk or dancing — can help keep your eyes healthy.