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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 20, 2014 | Leave a Comment

by Kathy Austin, Community Engagement Specialist and Meg Dowel, Social Media Intern at Second Sense

Finding and treating diabetes is the best way to prevent complications such as diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic eye diseases tend to surface without warning, often resulting in vision loss. Loss of vision alters many aspects of life, and managing conditions such as diabetes on top of changes in sight might seem impossible for many.

Staying Fit

Despite living with both conditions, you can still lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Find new and safe ways to exercise regularly, such as yoga or home fitness programs.  VisionAware has an excellent guide on creative ways to exercise including many resources and suggestions on how to stay fit with vision loss.

Eating Right

A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology reported that a higher quality diet was associated with a lower risk of visual impairment among people 65 years and older.

The cooking classes at Second Sense can teach you how to work safely in the kitchen while preparing fresh and healthy meals and accessing recipes in alternative formats. These classes can empower you to take control of your health and reduce the risk of advancing disease.

Dining Around the Holidays

The holiday season is the time of year family and friends gather to celebrate with one another. Often times, this involves traveling to different places and dining out at unfamiliar restaurants along the way. Choosing from a list of brand-new meal options can be difficult and overwhelming. If you are living with vision loss and have diabetes, you face the added challenge of choosing foods that fit your recommended diet plan. Plan in advance which restaurants to visit, explore menus online beforehand in order to get the most out of your meal and time spent with others, even in new situations. offers an online resource for nutrition information including calories, allergen information and daily requirements for popular restaurants, visit

Educating Yourself

For an excellent and in-depth explanation of how sugar affects metabolism resulting in diabetes and other chronic illnesses, check out Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, Obesity and Disease by Dr. Robert H. Lustig.  Available on the National Library Service Talking Books Program and on


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