Diabetes is a lifelong condition that demands proper management and control through diet monitoring and treatment. Failure to do so the body may over time experience damage in various ways and these are called diabetes complications.
One of the most severe complications that can occur is diabetic retinopathy a sight threatening disease that is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye(retina). These blood vessels can swell and leak or they can close thus stopping blood from passing through. Such changes can result in vision loss. Retinopathy is associated with prolonged high blood sugars as well as other diabetes related conditions like hypertension.
Some of the signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
” Blurred vision
” Sudden loss of vision in one eye
” Holes in your vision
” Dark spots or flashes of lights
The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that one has diabetic retinopathy. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, see an eye specialist for a complete exam. It is also important to note that pregnancy and high blood pressure may aggravate diabetic retinopathy.
” Poorly-controlled diabetes
” High blood pressure
” Long-term duration of diabetes
” Elevated blood cho lesterol levels
People with untreated diabetes are at a greater risk of blindness than the general population. The longer a person has had diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, with regular, proper eye care and treatment when necessary, the incidence of severe vision loss will be greatly reduced. If you have diabetes, an eye specialist can help you to prevent serious vision problems.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition for which treatment is available if diagnosed early. Hence there has been a major emphasis on screening for diabetic retinopathy. Referral for evaluation and treatment at an appropriate time is important to reduce severe visual loss.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness worldwide according to World Health Organisation (WHO). It is therefore important to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy by regulating blood sugar, blood pressure and other factors under the control of the patient especially through eating a healthy diet. Activities like smoking also contributes to the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy along with other diabetes complications.