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It is Important for Diabetics Need to Take Care of their Eyes

By Randy Collins Subscribe to RSS | January 17th 2012 | Views:

More people are getting afflicted with diabetes. The latest statistics show an alarming increase with over 25 million Americans suffering from this disease. Diabetics need to be very careful and keep the sugar levels under control and also prevent to the organs in the body. Particular importance needs to be given to take care of the kidneys, heart. It is equally important to take care of the eyes as well. Most of us neglect our eyes unless it gets too late.

Diabetes can cause early development and maturation of cataract. Another cause for concern is that diabetics are prone to develop glaucoma, which is a disorder where the optic nerve gets damaged and can cause permanent damage in the affected eye. The most dreaded complication however is diabetic retinopathy. The term refers to retinal changes caused by damage to blood vessels in the retina. What actually happens is that new blood vessels are formed in the retina and the walls of these blood vessels are thin and weak and may leak spontaneously leading to retinal hemorrhage. It is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease which can eventually lead to blindness.

Almost half the people stricken with diabetes are susceptible to develop retinopathy after about 10 years. There is a possibility that all diabetics may develop diabetic retinopathy. The duration of diabetes is a very important factor in the development of diabetic retinopathy. However the severity of this eye affliction is not related to the blood sugar levels in a diabetic. Women are more susceptible, with family history playing an important part. The fact remains that the risk of blindness is about 25 times greater for diabetics than non-diabetics.

The symptoms one needs to watch out for would be blurring of vision, frequent changes in refractive glasses, difficulty in reading, with the need to focus more, difficulty in driving and distorted vision. Increased blood glucose levels can at times cause edema or swelling of the crystalline lens. This causes temporary myopia or near-sightedness and distant vision can get blurred even if near vision remains intact. Hence it is very important that diabetics maintain a constant vigil and monitor their blood glucose levels. It is also important that medication should be taken regularly and missing out the medication for days together for whatever reason can be disastrous in the long run. A well balanced healthy diet plays a very important part in controlling diabetes. Understanding the condition and acting accordingly can prevent unwanted and unnecessary complications.

Diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy is not very complicated. A visit to an eye specialist at the onset of vision problems would help. An simple examination with the ophthalmoscope can detect retinopathy. The other ways to diagnose it are fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Photographs of the fundus or retina can reveal the stage of development of diabetic retinopathy through FFA.

Managing diabetes is more important than indulging in self pity. Prompt and proper action can help control and delay development of diabetic retinopathy. It is very important to keep one's blood pressure and sugar at normal levels. As mentioned earlier selecting a fat-free diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables and a generous helping of sprouts, abstaining from tobacco and alcohol should go a long way to control diabetes and subsequently diabetic retinopathy. A strict, self-imposed regimen of proper exercise including long, brisk walks should put to rest all unwanted fears of any complications arising from being a diabetic.

Finally, the best way to treat retinopathy would be through laser treatment. Laser helps to destroy newly formed blood vessels and seals already leaking vessels. There is another option of injecting medicine into the eyes to get rid of the newly formed blood vessels. Consulting your personal physician and other specialists is very important before going in for any change in medication or course of treatment. More information related to health issues are aired by popular service providers like Verizon TV.

Randy Collins - About Author:
Randy Collins is a freelance author who believes that as far as chronic conditions and any general illnesses are concerned, prevention and management play an important role in controlling the diseases. He keeps himself updated on the latest developments in the medical field and likes to watch programs on Verizon FiOS TV for any new information.

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