In recognition of National Diabetes Month, Dr. Linda Chous, UnitedHealthcare’s chief eye care officer, recommends four precautions for patients with diabetes to take to stay healthy – including a few for oral health care.
- Maintain an oral health care regimen of regular flossing and brushing using toothpaste with an antiplaque or antibacterial ingredient and preferably with an electric toothbrush.
- Schedule regular dental and vision checkups and alert your dentist and eye care professional if you have diabetes.
- Take normal medications prior to dental and vision visits unless your dentist or doctor instructs otherwise.
- Check blood sugar often to ensure you are managing your levels effectively.
More Diabetes Facts
- Diabetic retinopathy – occurring when the disease damages tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina – is the leading cause of blindness in the United States among people between the ages of 20 and 74.
- People with either Type-1 or Type-2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and vision complications related to diabetes that extend beyond retinopathy including increased risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts.
- Eye examinations play a significant role in diagnosing, monitoring and managing diabetes. Changes in vision – such as blurriness, seeing spots or persistent redness – can be symptomatic of the disease.
- About 26 million people are living with diabetes and 79 million more are at risk for diabetes.
- You can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes by losing 5% to 7% of your body weight—that is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person, and by making simple lifestyle changes, such as getting 150 minutes of physical activity a week and eating a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables.