What You Need To Know About Diabetic Retinopathy If You Have Recently Been Diagnosed With Diabetes

Health & Medical Blog

It can be disconcerting to learn that you have diabetes. After you are diagnosed, your time will be consumed by testing your blood and making changes to your diet. However, it is also important that you make time for a trip to the eye doctor. There are a number of vision problems that could be caused or made worse by diabetes, and if your eye doctor can find problems early enough, you can be treated before you have serious problems. One of the most common eye diseases you need to be aware of as a diabetic is retinopathy. Here are some things you need to know about this disease.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

As a diabetic, your body has a difficult time with insulin and glucose (or sugar) in your body. As a result of diabetes, there may often be too much glucose in your blood vessels. Too much glucose can damage blood vessels, particularly in your eyes.

Retinopathy occurs in the retinas of your eyes. The retina is the lining in the back of the eye that sends information to your brain about what you're seeing. When there is retinopathy, the tiny blood vessels in your retina start to become weak and start to leak. New blood vessels may form, but those might also leak into the surrounding area and lead to scar tissue that clouds vision. In severe cases, that scar tissue may pull the retina away from the eye, leading to loss of vision. 

What are the symptoms?

In the very initial stages, you may not have any signs at all that there is a problem. Over time, you might start experiencing any of the following:

  • Blurry vision
  • Floaters
  • Double vision
  • Trouble seeing at night

However, these symptoms might also be indicative of other eye conditions; only your eye doctor can be sure, so make an appointment right away. If the eye doctor suspects retinopathy, your eyes will likely be injected with a dye so that the doctor can view blood vessels easily.

What is the treatment?

If detected early enough, retinopathy may be helped with laser therapy that seals the blood vessels that are leaking inside your eyes. If the disease continues to progress, more intrusive eye surgery is undertaken. Without treatment, blindness is a possibility. 

Is there anything you can do to avoid this?

Keeping your blood sugar (glucose) levels under control is of the utmost importance when trying to prevent this disease. That way, you can prevent glucose from adversely affect your blood vessels.

To do this, make sure you are checking your blood sugar levels throughout the day and taking insulin when you need it. You will likely also have to make some changes to your diet so that your glucose levels stay in range more easily. Avoiding smoking and watching out for high blood pressure are also important, as these behaviors can also affect the health of your eyes.

Now that you know more about how diabetic retinopathy can affect your life, be sure to see an eye doctor as soon as you can. Regular eye tests throughout your life are critical, as you have a higher risk of getting this disease the longer you have diabetes. Talk with an eye doctor, like those at Advanced Retinal Institute Inc, to get more information.


16 December 2015

introducing your daughter to the gynecologist

Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.