Is Your Blurred Vision A Serious Health Concern?
As if astronauts don’t have plenty of career dangers to worry about already, NASA has discovered that many of those who have flown space shuttle missions or spent extended time aboard the International Space Station have suffered from blurred vision – prompting NASA to encourage research on the subject and stock the space station with Superfocus glasses to help take the strain off.
The fear is that some astronauts experiencing blurred vision may never recover their lost eye health or, worse yet, eventually become blind.
The most frequent cause of blurred vision
Most of us aren’t astronauts, and we haven’t been working in a microgravity environment – yet blurred vision is a common complaint and concern. Typical causes range from drinking too much alcohol, to cataracts, or even by a brain tumor. Of all the factors that could potentially contribute to blurred vision, though, the one most rampant in the United States is diabetes.
Diabetes is instrumental in kidney disease, lower limb amputations, and blindness. It is also a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States—and the World Health Organization has warned the mortality rate from diabetes could double over the next quarter of a century.
You may have this condition, but not yet know
Like high blood pressure, though, diabetes has been dubbed a “silent killer.” Most cases are Type 2 (“adult onset”) diabetes, and the symptoms appear gradually as one ages.
What are the odds you already have diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 11.3% (about one in nine) American citizens, 20 years of age and older, were afflicted. For those over 65, the estimate is that 26.9% are diabetic. And many of these are undiagnosed cases.
By the time the disease is discovered, severe internal damage may already have occurred. Fortunately, there are preventative measures we can take now that may lower our chances of being afflicted. And it all begins with awareness.
Learn to recognize these symptoms
Blurred vision is just one of the possible symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. Here are some others:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Dehydration—unusual thirst and urination
- Persistent hunger
- Weight changes not related to other factors
The best news is that, in its early stages, Type 2 diabetes can be treated with changes in diet and lifestyle. No prescription drugs are needed, if the condition is discovered soon enough. That is why it is crucial to pay attention to warning signs and to get tested for the disease as soon as you suspect there may be a problem. Left untreated, the results can be catastrophic.
Why wait for bad news, though?
Given statistics saying the chances of acquiring this serious disorder are at epidemic proportions and rising, and a preventative plan suggesting it can be prevented or delayed by simple lifestyle changes that are healthy for all … why not just start taking better care of your health right now? And why not make sure your children do the same?
- Photo provided by: smartphotostock.com