By Mary Williams
In the past, diabetes was never such a big epidemic like it is
today. People often thought of diabetes as simply a body
condition where one must reduce oneís sugar and fat intake.
Little did people know that diabetes could end up causing
Now that diabetes is reaching epidemic levels in most of the
western world, this problem is becoming more and more serious.
Vision is one of our most critical senses and in this "need
speed" information era, over 70% of our sensory information
comes through our eyes. According to the American Academy of
Ophthalmology, diabetics are 25 times more likely to lose
vision than those who are not diabetic.
With diabetes already being the number one cause of blindness
in the United States, it's no wonder eye care professionals
predicting a devastating increase in vision loss as the
epidemic grows alarmingly.
People newly diagnosed with diabetes often have nothing more
than minor vision fluctuations which settle when blood sugar
levels improve with treatment. Early on it's easy to believe
everything is fine. After some years though, continuing high
blood sugar can gradually damage the blood vessels at the back
of the eye in the retina. This causes a problem called
retinopathy and the longer you have diabetes the more likely
are to have retinopathy. The risk increases further when there
is poor control of blood sugar levels. More than 70% of
diabetics develop some changes in their eyes within 15 years
Now, what exactly is retinopathy? There are 2 types of
retinopathy. Retinopathy is graded as Non-proliferative or
Proliferative. Non-proliferative retinopathy is the common
milder form, where small retinal blood vessels break and leak.
There may be some mild retinal swelling but it rarely requires
treatment unless it causes hazy central vision or straight
lines appear bent.
On the other hand, proliferative retinopathy is the less
common, but more serious form where new blood vessels grow
abnormally within the retina. If these vessel scar or bleed
they can lead to potentially serious vision loss including
blindness. Early laser treatment can seal leaking vessels and
slow the progress of diabetic retinopathy, but can't reverse
existing vision loss.
Although there is no real cure or method to eliminate the risk
of diabetic eye damage, you can do two important things to
prevent the more serious complications. The critical first
is making sure you stabilize and control your blood sugar with
a healthy diet and regular exercise. The second step is to
sure you have a yearly diabetic eye examination.
Diabetes is a disease that mostly affects blood vessels and in
it's extreme forms can lead to serious heart disease, stroke
and kidney damage. Clearly these life threatening diabetic
vascular diseases deserve priority attention, but high on the
critical list for diabetics is the risk of serious eye disease
and loss of vision. Make sure you check up with a qualified
doctor to prevent diabetes-related eye problems! An
eye care professional can pick up subtle diabetic eye changes
long before you notice any vision change, and more
early enough to do some good.
If you suspect that you or a close one has diabetes Ė or if
diabetes is already present Ė now is the time to seek a doctor
for a detailed eye check up before itís too late! Donít let
diabetes claim another personís vision!
About The Author: Mary Williams owns a number of
diabetes-related websites, including
www.diabetesinformationnow.info . Visit her sites today
for more diabetes information and resources.