Diabetics need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels, eat healthy food and exercise regularly with great care if they need to avoid the complications that come along with this disease. Diabetic neuropathy can affect vital organs in diabetics and make it difficult for them to carry out their daily tasks, including affecting their work life. The changing equation of diabetic neuropathy and keyboards has enabled select companies to come up with neuropathy-friendly keyboards that can enable diabetics to continue working without any problems.
While earlier, men and women had to undertake a lot of physical tasks to get their daily work done, automation and computerization has bought about a massive change in work habits. All that people now have to do is to press buttons to get their work done. However, diabetes can affect the blood flow to vital organs and also damage nerves, which in turn can affect organs such as eyes, kidneys, hands, feet, fingers, toes, etc. The 4 types of diabetic neuropathy, i.e. focal, autonomic, peripheral and proximal, can, between them cause tingling, numbness and even pain in organs such as the heart, lungs, fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes, kidneys, etc. While medicines such as alpha lipoic acid, which is an antioxidant and surgery could help if the symptoms were detected earlier, diabetics that might drift in at a late stage for treatment might find that the affected organs might have become numb permanently or suffered irreversible damage.
For diabetics that need to work for a living, this could be a multi edged blow since they would face problems while working and this could also affect their income in the long run. With computers becoming a necessity instead of a luxury, diabetics that have been affected by peripheral neuropathy might realize that it would have become very difficult for them to feel the keyboard of their computer. This would affect the quality and speed of typing and would lead to unwanted errors and delays. This has encouraged select companies to come up with alternative designs to the standard keyboards. Diabetics that type without looking at the keyboard might find it tougher since they might not be able to fully feel the various keys of the keyboard and might either miss the chosen key or end up pressing two keys at the same time.
These new keyboards attack the problem in two ways. The first way is to color certain sections and keys of the keyboard in a different color so that diabetics can identify the keys that are painted in a specific color. The other way it to incorporate extra ridges on select alphabets instead of the usual two that are available with every standard keyboard. These ridges too are in various shapes such as horizontal, vertical and even regular “L” type or inverted “L”. These ridges end up trapping select alphabets inside the shape of a box. This will enable diabetics with peripheral neuropathy to “feel” the raised ridges while typing and hence locate the position of their fingers and the related alphabets on the keyboard. Although it takes a few hours to get used to these keyboards, diabetics might find that they can get back to their original speeds without making any errors.
Necessity is truly the mother of invention and these altered keyboards can offer convenience and reliability to diabetics. Hence, the changing equation of diabetic neuropathy and keyboards has truly resulted in improved keyboards that have combined colors and ridges to come up with a practical solution for diabetics.
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