Follow These Simple Ways to Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder that occurs in people who have the condition diabetes. It causes advanced damage to the retina – the light-sensitive covering at the back of the eye. Diabetes affects the body’s capacity to use and store sugar or glucose. The condition is identified by too much sugar in the plasma, which can cause harm throughout the body, mainly the eyes.
Over a period of time, diabetes harms the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy happens when these minute blood vessels drip blood and other liquids. Due to this, the retinal tissue swells that result in cloudy or indistinct vision. The disorder usually disturbs both eyes. The longer time a person has diabetes, the extra likely they will have a mature diabetic retinopathy. If diabetic retinopathy is left untreated, it can even cause blindness.
Fortunately, there are ways that help to prevent diabetic retinopathy and in today’s article, we will give you some very helpful and useful diabetic retinopathy preventive measures.
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
There are no symptoms when the disease is in early stages. The diabetic retinopathy symptoms start slowly in many people when they start seeing “floaters” in their vision. These floaters may come and disappear while other people may also have blurry vision. If the early signs and symptoms of the disease are not treated at the right time, they can lead to long-term changes in the vision that are produced by the later stages.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, some common signs and symptoms include:
- Floaters (in the form of strings, spots)
- Dark spots or blank areas in the vision
- Blurred or unclear vision
- Difficulty in seeing colors
- Difficulty while seeing at night
- Vision loss
If you are diabetic and have a risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, see an ophthalmologist annually or more regularly so that the symptoms of the disease can be checked at the right time – possibly before you start noticing the symptoms.
What are the types of diabetic retinopathy?
Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy or NPDR is the early phase of the disease in which symptoms will be slight or nonexistent. In NPDR, the blood vessels in the retina are debilitated. Tiny protuberances in the blood vessels, called microaneurysms, may drip fluid into the retina. This leak may lead to puffiness of the macula.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy or PDR is the more radical form of the disease. At this stage, circulation problems deny the retina of oxygen. As a consequence new, fragile blood vessels can begin to cultivate in the retina and into the vitreous, the gel-like liquid that fills the back of the eye. The new blood vessels may escape blood into the vitreous, causing blurry vision.
How can diabetic retinopathy be managed & prevented?
If you are diabetic, follow these useful ways to prevent the diabetic retinopathy or reduce the risk of the disease or keep it from getting worse:
Monitor your blood sugar level:
Keep your blood sugar level in your specific target range. Monitor your blood sugar level. You may need to check and record your blood sugar level numerous times in a day — more-frequently and obligatory when you’re ill or under anxiety. Ask your doctor or health care provider how often that you need to test your blood sugar so you can record it.
Manage your diabetes:
Follow a healthy eating and exercise plan while making it a part of your daily routine. Those diabetic people who can do enough exercise can try to get an aerobic activity of around 150 minutes every week. An important measure to manage diabetes is to take oral diabetes medicines or insulin as told by the doctor.
Monitor cholesterol and blood pressure level:
Retain your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. You can do this by getting these checked on a regular basis, following the advice of your physician and by consuming healthy foods, doing exercise regularly and losing excess fat weight can also help.
One of the most important measures of diabetic retinopathy prevention is to quit smoking and use of tobacco. Smoking and tobaccos upsurge your risk of several diabetes problems that also include diabetic retinopathy condition.
Get an eye exam:
Pay attention to any variations in your vision. Contact your eye doctor right away if you experience sudden vision changes or your vision develops blurred, spotty or hazy.
Visit your ophthalmologist regularly:
It is recommended that you should visit an ophthalmologist once a year and discuss with them that you have diabetes. If you develop diabetic retinopathy which is in an early stage or if you are at a high risk of developing the condition, you should visit your eye doctor every 2-4 months.
Get treatment at the right time:
If diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, start getting the treatment immediately instead than later.
Glasses or contacts for correcting symptoms:
You can ask for glasses or contacts if you think they can help in correcting your symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. This helps in reducing the risk of making the disease worse.
Get training to cope up with vision changes:
Getting training from a rehabilitation clinic greatly helps in learning to cope up with any temporary and/or permanent vision loss.
Talk with your eye doctor about some natural remedies that have supported research pieces of evidence that they are effective in the treatment or prevention of diabetic retinopathy. These include:
- Danshen dripping pills such as Radix notoginseng, Salviae miltiorrhiae, and borneol and some Traditional Chinese Drugs as well
- Fenugreek seed
- Gingko biloba extract
Prevention and an early detection are the key factors with diabetic retinopathy.
If you’re diabetic and notice any changes in your vision then immediately see an ophthalmologist. If you’re diabetic and there are no vision problems/changes then, fortunately, you can prevent diabetic retinopathy and other diabetic eye diseases (cataract, glaucoma, diabetic macular edema) by getting eye exams regularly, visiting an ophthalmologist, managing blood sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol.