Published on August 9th, 2012 | by ddeupree
Diabetes Management Tampa Bay for better vision
Diabetes management is recommended for long-term preservation of sight
Nearly everyone has a friend or loved one affected by Diabetes and is aware of some of the serious consequences the disease may cause. At a young age, I noticed my uncle had difficulty with his vision and required an injection every day to regulate his blood sugar. Having spent the last 25 years treating diabetic eye disease, it has become increasingly clear that the careful and timely diabetes management and attention to ocular disease is critical in preserving a patient’s sight.
Yearly dilated eye exams are highly recommended for anyone diagnosed with diabetes
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that in the USA only 50% of all diabetics, even those with high risk disease, were receiving the recommended regular eye examinations for detection and prompt treatment of the retinopathy. This means that there are millions of Americans with diabetes who are putting their eyesight in serious jeopardy by lack of diabetes management.
While diabetes is broken down into: Type 1, or insulin dependent and Type II, or non-insulin dependent, they both have similar impact on the eyes and are managed with nearly the same protocol. Both of these types lead to a thickening of the internal diameter of the small capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. This may cause damage to the tissues involved whether it is the retina, peripheral nerves or the kidneys. It is recommended that yearly dilated eye exam be carried out for anyone diagnosed with diabetes and should any early changes be noted more frequent follow-up is needed.
People often wonder what factors are important in control of their diabetic retinopathy. It is clear from the results of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), a large multi-center study o 1400 patients over a five-year period, that strict control of blood sugar significantly reduces the severity of retinopathy.
Methods to achieve this strict control begin with education through your endocrinologist, internist or local hospital education programs. Diabetes management is vital. You must learn the basics about diet, exercise and glucose control. Careful blood sugar monitoring is vital. There is certainty that cigarette smoking causes increased damage to the diabetic and ignoring this can only lead to rapid and more severe progression of the retinopathy.
While treatment starts with the above, the focus of the retina specialist is to detect early damage to the retina and anticipate its effect. There are excellent criteria from years of study that guide us concerning the timing and laser technique to be used to seal microcapillary leakage for the preservation of visual acuity. This should be done with great care to protect the central vision. A more severe stage of retinopathy, known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy, may develop demonstrating hemorrhages and scar tissue membranes. For this, prompt surgical intervention may be required.
With the many technical advances available to the retina specialist, the care of the diabetic eye is very clearly defined and effective. However, this all depends on the patient seeking advice and taking a proactive role in their diabetes management. If you or a loved one has diabetes, manage the disease and do not let it manage you.