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Diabetic Retinopathy: What Is It?

Posted Jan 10 2012 2:24am

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication that should be of concern to anyone suffering from diabetes. What happens is that your vision is effected in a number of different ways. That's because can damage the eye's retina. So first let's look at what the retina is if we want to understand how to prevent retinopathy.

We don't need a detailed explanation here. You just need to understand that the retina is simply a group of nerves that sits in the back of your eyeball. Think of them like a digital camera. They give your brain a picture of what you see. It's a simple process that people without vision problems can take for granted. But retinopathy interferes with this process.

The blood vessels that are in the retina are very sensitive. When they split, the fluid that was in the vessels starts to drip into the eye's compound. And when this happens the problems begin.

Frequently the first noticeable change will be what look like and obstruction in your sight. Scar tissue starts to form in your eyeball and all around it. As it progresses, the retina becomes detached, and no longer sits in the position it should.

In diabetics this is more likely to happen because elevated blood sugar levels can trigger the problem. And what makes this worse is that it is normal not to have any symptoms until the problem reaches the severe stage. The end result is that by the time you realize you have a problem, it can be too late to fully correct it. Diabetic especially need to go to the eye doctor a minimum of once a year. By doing so the problem can be caught early enough to make correcting it much easier.

Also be aware of any symptoms that may occur between scheduled visits. Some people notice floaters, which are nothing more than black or white spots that appear for no reason. Double vision, weak vision or blurry vision can also be signs of diabetic retinopathy. Take these symptoms seriously, even if they appear to be extremely mild. Contact your eye doctor immediately if any of these things should happen.

The good news is that often treatment is not necessary. But if treatment is needed, there are several options designed to reduce lost vision. You and your doctor will decide between prescription medication, laser treatments or more invasive surgery.

The biggest factor in a successful treatment is to catch diabetic retinopathy early. Make sure yearly visits to an eye doctor are scheduled, that way if treatment is necessary it can be started before the problem gets out of hand.

If you want to know more about the diabetic testing supplies you need to have in your home, and explore diabetic food to help you eat tasty meals every day, visit

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