Type 2 Diabetes & Diabetic Retinopathy
The possibility of losing my eye sight scares me. Of all the possible complications associated with having diabetes the lost of my eyesight gives me the greatest pause for concern. The most common disease associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes to the retina’s blood vessels and is a leading cause of blindness in adults.
Different people experience this disease in different ways. In some blood vessels may swell while in others unusual, new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
Good vision depends upon a healthy retina.
Diabetes retinopathy may go unnoticed for some time as the changes take place slowly. However, as time passes the individual’s condition will get worse and a loss of vision is the result.
I was fortunate in that I was diagnosed quite early in the process, and that the doctors involved in my care, were able to set a course of treatment (laser surgery) that has corrected the condition.
The appearance of a floater in my field of vision sent me first to my family doctor who then referred me to an eye examination. As a result of the examination, I was sent to a specialist who in consultation with another specialist saw beyond the floater and spotted the beginnings of the disease.
This early intervention may very well have saved my eye sight.
If I had to pay for this treatment, it is possible that I would not have been able to afford it, as it was all I had to pay was $60.00 for the initial eye exam, the balance of the treatment, including my 4 laser surgeries, were covered by my health plan.
If you have diabetes, be sure to have a regular eye examination. Equally as important, stick to our maintenance plan, in others words, get regular exercise, daily if possible but at least three times per week and 30 minutes per session.
If you do not have diabetes, be sure to eat well. By this I mean stick to vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats, for example. Exercise, even if you do not need to lose weight, get up off the couch and take a walk. Your eyes and your body will say thank you.
I believe I can, through diet and exercise, eliminate my need to take insulin injections twice a day. This is a goal that I have set and am determined to stick to; my eye sight and my overall health are depending upon my will to do so.