— Posted in Health
How to protect your vision if you have diabetes?
People who are unlucky enough to know what diabetic eye disease is, probably will understand why we choose to dig deeper into this topic. Diabetic eye disease is a serious problem, which might cause blindness. People usually link Diabetic retinopathy to Diabetic eye disease but it is not the only one. There are few more in this group, like glaucoma, diabetic macular edema and cataract. However, we will pay more attention to Diabetic retinopathy treatments and protection, today.
What are the Reasons for Diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic people have high blood sugar. Unfortunately, this is one of the major reasons for bad blood vessels. Eye blood vessels are so tiny that damaging them is easy. If this happens, diabetic retinopathy occurs. The human retina is full of blood vessels which might start bleeding if the high blood sugar destroys them. Eventually, people might lose their vision if a bigger part of the retina has been damaged.
How many stages does Diabetic retinopathy have?
Although, diabetic retinopathy might lead to permanent disability, if your eye specialist finds it in its early stage there are treatments that will help. Let’s find out what the stages are?
- The first stage is Mild nonproliferative retinopathy. In this stage, microaneurysms occur. These are swelling is the retina’s vessels. Swelling is actually fluid leakage or bleeding;
- The second stage is Moderate retinopathy. Here, blood vessels distort and stop functioning;
- Severe retinopathy is when most of the blood vessels stop functioning and the retina realizes that she should start producing new blood vessels.;
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy – in this stage, retinal detachment occurs. New blood vessels start also bleed because they can’t grow enough to function properly.
How can I understand if I have Diabetic retinopathy?
If you have diabetes, it is recommended to check your vision at least once every year. Ophthalmologists like those at AsiaRetina will test you and you give you recommendations. However, at first, patients don’t experience any symptoms. Later, when blood vessels start to leak then some “floating” spots will occur. Most of them will vanish with time and new will appear. Eventually, patients report for blurred and worsen vision.
OK, I have Diabetes. Now what? How can I protect my vision?
We already mentioned that patients with Diabetes should visit their ophthalmologist more often. In addition, there are studies which prove that blood glucose level is significant when it comes to blood vessels strength. That’s why controlling glucose is the first step. Second is controlling cholesterol and blood pressure. Both should be healthy low levels.
Following treatments include corticosteroids or Anti-VEGF drugs. Both aim to stop new abnormal blood vessels to grow. Different treatments are with different length and price so patients should consult with their doctors.
The data shows that patients who find out early that they have diabetic retinopathy and start their treatment on time can reduce the chance of blindness with 95%.
A new method is combining anti-VEGF therapy with laser panretinal surgery. There are a few possible variations – before, after and during the anti-VEGF therapy. A thousand laser burns improve leakage and retina tends to heal. Their purpose is to shrink abnormal blood vessels and make them shrink. Some people need more than one treatment but it depends on the stage of eye disease and personal characteristics.
Some eye diseases are irreversible but fortunately, diabetic retinopathy is not one of them. Having an experienced ophthalmologist will guarantee you fast reaction. If you have unanswered questions, your ophthalmologist will be happy to help you. He will explain to you how to eat healthy in order to maintain a healthy cholesterol level and blood pressure. You might have to take some vitamins and supplements like magnesium in order to protect your vision. No matter that you eat healthy sometimes what we get from the food is simply not enough. Although taking some vitamins and supplements sounds minor it is not. You might reduce or even stop developing diabetes only bu changing your eating habits and nutrition.