Diabetic retinopathy is the main cause of blindness in adults diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. How to preserve vision and avoid the serious consequences of diabetes? American endocrinologists and ophthalmologists will help to understand this issue.
Diabetic retinopathy is a specific progressive pathology of the retina of the eye, which is a difficult late complication of diabetic microangiopathy in diabetes mellitus. This disease is observed in almost 90% of patients with diabetes mellitus of both types. Blindness develops in such patients 25 times more than in the general population.
Defeat of blood vessels in diabetes mellitus, caused by high blood glucose levels, may also occur in the form of complications such as diabetic microangiopathy. In diabetic microangiopathy, arterioles, venules and capillaries of varying localization are damaged.
If all patients diagnosed with “diabetic retinopathy” were treated promptly, the probability of blindness due to diabetes would be reduced by 90%.
There are many factors that you can take into account in order to prevent the development of serious complications. They reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Including it helps to regulate blood sugar levels and normalize blood pressure.
Diabetes Retinopathy Diagnosis
Although some people may not feel that they need to focus their eyes on eyes, eye diseases often have no specific signs or symptoms. In any case, attentive attitude to your health, timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent vision loss in half of the cases.
Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy reduces the likelihood of blindness by 60%. Half of the adult patients diagnosed with “diabetes” often do not check their vision every year, although it is important. The most important reasons why a person does not test eyesight and eye condition is that they just do not feel that they need such a diagnosis, or they simply can not afford it for a number of reasons.
Patients who have health insurance often resort to timely diagnosis of their health, for example, in the case of diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common and severe complications of diabetes associated with the damage to various parts of the nervous system, which is poorly diagnosed and often left without proper attention of doctors and patients.
Of course, if a person does not have a health insurance, then it is likely that there are problems with vision. In the absence of insurance, and if a person earns a little money, often such patients do not pass the necessary examinations in a timely manner. But even in this case, it is appropriate to do ophthalmoscopy with an enlarged pupil, because it is less expensive.
In addition, in the future, do not have to go to pharmacies in search of expensive drugs, and as a result, improve the quality of life.
Ophthalmoscopy is a method of studying the disk of the optic nerve, retina and chorioidia (the vasculature of the eye) in light rays that are reflected from the fundus. Ophthalmoscopy gives the most complete data for the enlarged pupil.
Who is in the risk group to be blinded ?
The level of morbidity increases. Judging by the statistics for 2015 in Ukraine, over the past 10 years, the prevalence of diabetes in our country has increased by 1.5 times. As of January 1, 2015, Ukraine has registered 1 million 198 thousand patients, which is about 2.9% of the total population.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. In addition, often this disease leads to loss of vision among adults. As age is getting worse, many patients simply do not realize how serious they are.
For example, in the United States, for three years after diagnosing diabetes, 28% of adults will be diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, and 4% of patients will have retinopathy as a late-stage disease, which often leads to blindness.
More often, diabetic retinopathy affects those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As for patients with type 2 diabetes, 77% of the total number of patients find themselves having a diabetic retinopathy for 20 years: after being given a disappointing diagnosis.
The longer a person struggles with diabetes, the greater the likelihood that retinopathy will appear, which will end with blindness. Therefore, it is important to remember that the older a person at the time of diagnosis of her “diabetic retinopathy” is, the higher her risks to see complications in the form of visual impairment and the more often she needs to check how they see her eyes, especially if she is over 65 years old.
More often, diabetic retinopathy affects those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And in type 2 diabetes, 77% of the total number of patients find diabetic retinopathy for 20 years.
How to help yourself ?
Treatment of diabetes significantly reduces the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy (by 90%). How to protect yourself from diabetic retinopathy? The patient needs to monitor blood sugar levels and regularly monitor blood pressure.
For example, measuring glucose on a regular basis serves as an effective prophylaxis to avoid diabetic retinopathy, even if your glycated hemoglobin level in the blood (A1C level) is not improved by the results of the tests.
In addition, arterial hypertension (elevated blood pressure) worsens the situation if the patient is diabetic retinopathy: because high cholesterol and lipid levels worsen the state of things in this case as well.
What measures have a positive effect on health and reduce the likelihood of complications in diabetes:
- weight loss;
- physical activity;
- watching food.
For example, if the patient takes antioxidants and zinc at the beginning of the disease, this reduces the risk of losing sight, as well as meeting the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration by 25%.
Age macular degeneration or macular degeneration is a disease that affects the central region of the retina, the most important area – the macula, which plays a key role in preserving the vision at normal levels.
A patient with a diagnosis of “diabetes mellitus” should strictly follow the recommendations of the endocrinologist and the therapist, namely:
- check blood sugar regularly;
- measure pressure;
- to make timely analyzes that show the level of cholesterol in the blood;
- to visit an ophthalmologist’s office to make sure everything is in sight;
- examine the feet of a specialist.
Then, in diabetics, the risks of having irreversible health consequences, in particular, with serious deterioration of vision, are significantly reduced. In half of cases, if vision already leaves much to be desired, then adequate treatment reduces the likelihood of blindness.
What procedures helps keep vision in Diabetes ?
In the majority (in 65% of cases), patients with diabetes use glasses to properly navigate the space. If you do not have enough points, then you should talk to the therapist and find out about laser photocoagulation. This procedure is very effective, because after diabetes, the risk of blindness due to the development of diabetic retinopathy is reduced to a minimum of 2%.
It is worth knowing about laser photocoagulation. This procedure is very effective, because after it in diabetics, the risk of blindness due to the development of diabetic retinopathy decreases to 2%.
Laser photocoagulation of the retina is a form of treatment with a destructive effect, which is based on the absorption of light energy by pigmentation of the eye (melanin, hemoglobin and xanthophyllum) and its transformation into thermal energy.
Vitrectomy or removal of the vitreous body in patients with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes will help to see as soon as possible after a hemorrhage in the vitreous body occurred against the backdrop of complications of diabetes. Glasslike body is a gel-shaped, translucent substance that fills the space between the lens and the retina in the eye.
As for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, operation of the vitrectomy is not necessary at all, as the results of the research show.
If you take care of your health, it will only benefit you. After all, scientists have proved that if the diabetic adheres to the recommendations of experts, then the number of problems associated with visual impairment decreases.