Diabetic Retinopathy and Care of Your Eyes

Diabetic retinopathy is a very serious impairment of the retina which is classified an non-inflammatory.

The retina is the main source of our vision, which actually transmits signals to the optic nerve, allowing our visual field to come through.

When you have diabetic retinopathy, the small blood vessels in the retina become swollen, and often leak fluid. There is hemmorrhaging and the vision then becomes blocked. This whole process can cause an overgrowth of the new blood vessels, which are very tiny, to gain scar tissue. The separation of the retina occurs from where it is attached to the inside of the eye, causing visual loss.

Retinopathy in a diabetic is the leading cause then, of blindness. Anyone with diabetes, type 1 or 2, should have regular eye check-ups to help recognize this condition at the onset.

Retinopathy affects anyone who has had diabetes long term, (5 years or better). The risk of developing this diabetic complication and the rate of which it progresses, can be greatly reduced by good blood sugar control.

Some of the things a good eye doctor may find on examination of the eyes are microaneurysms. They appear as tiny red spots in the light-sensitive retina, right at the back of the eye. The eye doctor will also recognize some tiny hemorrhages. There is also something called hard exudates. These are one of the main characteristics of retinopathy and they can vary in size from tiny specks, to large patches. There are also soft exudates. Soft exudates are often called cotton wool spots, and are seen in the more advanced retinopathy.

In the early stages of retinopathy, there are no symptoms. But as retinopathy progresses, you will experience great visual impairments, which includes distorted or patchy vision that your prescription glasses will not help.

Laser therapy is most commonly used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. It is referred to as panretinal laser photocoagulation. This procedure is normally done under a local anesthetic. In this form of laser-type treatment, there are bursts of a laser beam directed toward the retina of the eye, and this helps to stop growth of abnormal blood vessels , and cut the risk of bleeding. Therefore, then it is hoped that it will reduce the risk of severe visual loss significantly. The procedure will not correct advanced vision loss.

This is why it is important to keep your blood sugar under control as well as your blood pressure, if hypertension is also a problem. Keeping your sugars stablized will help prevent the onset of retinopathy from happening, and help you to maintain normal eye health care. Companies like www.visiondirect.com make it convenient to order your contacts but make sure if you have any of the symptoms described above to call your doctor immediately.

Protecting your eyesight is a MUST with diabetes!

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