Sugar: Not So Sweet for Your Vision

Sugar bad for eyesWe just got out of our Halloween-candy-induced sugar comas and now are headed right into pumpkin pie and Christmas cookie season.  Yes, the holidays are almost here and our diets are sabotaged by sugar, sugar, and more…sugar! Don’t get me wrong, I love a sweet treat as much as the next girl.  So, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But, I recently found out that almost all of the leading causes of blindness in the United States have some sort of connection to the over consumption of sugar! Lest I completely ruin your holiday fun, I’ll share with you that most doctors agree some splurges every now and then won’t make you blind.  But, the research shows that age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, and glaucoma all have a connection with consistently high blood sugar levels. Hmmmm… Cutting back on the snickerdoodles and candy canes this year may not be a bad idea. How is Sugar Related to My Eyes? You see, high blood sugar sets your system into overdrive on insulin production that can eventually lead to type-two diabetes.  Sufferers who experience advanced symptoms of this type of diabetes may eventually experience something called diabetic retinopathy–vision loss because of damage done to the blood vessels to the eyes. Within the last several years, researchers have also concluded that there is an association between age-related macular degeneration and high blood sugar.  In this case, having an elevated amount of glycogen (sugar) in your system damages the retina and capillaries that supply the eyes with blood and can also lead to blindness. Even one of the most common types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, can be caused by high blood sugar.  For this to happen, blood vessel damage leads to the inability of the eye to regulate its own pressure and drain fluid properly. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes or know you are prone to high blood sugar, be sure to have regular eye exams so your optometrist can watch your vision and suggest ways to help protect your eyes. But, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a blood sugar problem, here’s my pre-holiday thought for you.  I hope this year when you look at that holiday party dessert spread, you’ll not only think about how the indulgence might make your pants a little tighter by New Years, but you’ll also remember your eyes.  Seems that even though all those festive treats look tasty…they aren’t so sweet on your eyes in the long run!  

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