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~ Diabetic Retinopathy ~


~ Diabetic Retinopathy ~

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Progressive damage to the eye’s retina is caused by long-term diabetes. It can result in loss of vision.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness. People with both non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The incidence and severity of the retinopathy increases with the duration of diabetes and is likely to be worse if control of the diabetes is poor. Almost all people who have had diabetes for more than 30 years will show signs of diabetic retinopathy. The disease is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina. In the earlier and less severe type (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy) the existing blood vessels become porous and leak fluid into the retina, causing blurred vision. TOO HIGH SUGAR LEVELS. In the more advanced and severe type (proliferative retinopathy) new growth of blood vessels occurs within the eye. These new vessels are fragile and can hemorrhage causing loss of vision.
Maintaining good control of sugar levels of diabetes and control of high blood pressure, if present, will slow the progression of retinopathy.
Decreased visual acuity.
Floating spots known as floaters.
Many people have no preliminary symptoms before a major hemorrhage in the eye, an examination may be the only way to prevent this.
The tests are simple: your ophthalmologist will give you the examination and there is also retinal photography.
Control of diabetes and associated high blood pressure is the aim of treatment. Such treatment usually does not reverse existing damage but will slow down the progression of the disease. Laser surgery may be indicated to seal leaking vessels or eradicate abnormal fragile vessels. Surgical treatment (vitrectomy) is used in cases of hemorrhage into the eye. It may also be used to repair retinal detachment caused by hemorrhage and subsequent scarring. Control is far easier and less painful.
A dilated examination of the retina by an ophthalmologist once per year is more than recommended for people with diabetes, it is essential to have good eye care.
The outcome may be improved by good control of diabetes and high blood pressure. Some degree of diabetic retinopathy usually becomes evident after 10 years and is nearly universal in people who have diabetes mellitus for more than 30 years. There is so much out there for the diabetic, to keep better control, without control, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness without treatment. Treatment can prevent blindness in most cases.
The complications are far too severe you can also get:
Glaucoma, or Retinal detachment and eventually lead to Blindness
Make your check ups yearly, this will prevent further decrease in your vision, keep good control of your sugar levels, your vision is so important. Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have diabetes mellitus and you have not seen an ophthalmologist in the past year. Even without diabetes, get your eyes checked a least every two years.


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