How Diabetes Can Effect Your Eyes: Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes and Your Eyes
If asked which of the senses is most important to me, I think I would say vision. This was made abundantly clear when my doctor informed me that I was developing diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated or not caught in time blindness could result.
I have Type 2 diabetes and work hard to keep it under control. Watch what i eat and get regular exercise, but until this diagnosis i slacked off on and then,
For example, there were times when I slipped in my diet and found myself eating too much and too much of the wrong stuff, especially sweets.
That has ended. Although I still have sugar free chocolate and other dessert now and then. Being diabetic does not mean that you eat no sugar which in our world is very difficult but that you eat little sugar.
About 16 months ago, I woke one morning to and found that my vision was somewhat blurred; at first I thought that it was just sleep it was early but I came to realize that overnight soemthign had changed.
There was definitely a film feathery dark coloured film in my right eye. The left eye was fine.
I called my family doctor as soon as his office was open for business and made an appointment. There was a six day wait and that was a very long six days.
Finally, the appointment time came and after the examination, the doctor told me that I did have what was called in layperson’s terms, floaters and that this was common which meant that it happened to some people as they got older.
The Canadian National Institute for the Bind defines floaters as:
Floaters are dark specks in the form of dots, circles, lines, or cobwebs that seem to move across your field of vision. They are most noticeable when you are looking at a light-coloured background, such as a clear sky or a white wall. Floaters come in many sizes and numbers, and they seem to move when you look in different directions .
Floaters will seem to go away as we get used to them and while at first are annoying that soon passes.
However, because I have Type 2 diabetes, the doctor thought it best that a specialist, an ophthalmologist take a closer look. An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the physiology, anatomy, and pathology of the eye and the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye.
The first trip was an eye exam; the results of which brought be back for a closer look.
As it turns out what was happening was, there were floaters but the ophthalmologist also noticed the beginnings of diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of adult blindness. It is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to small blood vessels in the eye. This damage to blood vessels affects the nourishment of the retina which leads to visual loss. This condition can occur in both types 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately it was in an early stage and could be treated. The recommended treatment is laser surgery.
In all, I have had four treatments, two in each eye. This morning I made my regular six month visit to the ophthalmologist and to both our delights my visual acuity is fine and for now there is no further need for surgery.
This all brings me back to the importance of control. If you follow the advice of your doctor and any other medial professional who is involved in your program, eat properly and exercise, you may never develop diabetic retinopathy.
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Diabetes and Your Eyes
- Diabetic retinopathy - MayoClinic.com
Diabetic retinopathy — Comprehensive overview covers causes, treatment, prevention of this serious diabetes-related eye disease.
- laser surgery
During this procedure (focal photocoagulation), your ophthalmologist will focus a powerful laser beam on the damaged central retina to seal leaking blood vessels and clear swelling.