Published on December 9th, 2012 | by AJ0
The Truth About Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition occurring in diabetics. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that leads to abnormal sugar levels in the body. There are two causes of high blood sugar levels in the body. One is the secretion of insufficient insulin by the pancreas, and the other is the lack of sensitivity of cells to insulin. Proper management of diabetes is the best treatment for this eye condition.
When the concentration of glucose increases, the body initiates homeostatic processes to get rid of the excess sugar. As a result, the kidney eliminates glucose through the bladder as urine. It is important to note that the presence of sugar in the urine is a clear symptom of diabetes. Insulin normally helps body cells to absorb and convert glucose into energy through the process of respiration.
Apart from diabetic retinopathy, diabetics are also prone to atherosclerosis or hardening of major blood arteries. This condition can cause stokes and heart attacks, both of which can be fatal. Chronic renal failure may also be experienced by diabetics. Almost 90 percent of all diabetics who have had the illness for more than a decade have experienced this eye problem at one time or another.
The condition occurs when the small blood vessels in the retina are damaged due to the high glucose concentration in blood. This leads to poor circulation and eventually vision problems. When blood carrying vessels are damaged, blood and other types of fluids start to leak into the retinal tissue thereby causing swelling and clouding of vision. If not treated properly, this disorder can cause blindness.
While blurred vision may be the most noticeable symptom of the this disorder, night blindness is also very common. As blood and other fluids leak into the retinal tissue, the patient may see spots in the field of vision. Total blindness may occur if the condition is not treated.
The best way to reduce the severity of this eye condition is to exercise, follow a low calorie diet program and rehydrate several times a day. Laser surgery can be used to seal all blood vessels that may be leaking. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be used to reduce or prevent inflammations. The vitreous fluid can also be removed and replaced through surgery. In some severe cases where the retina was detached, a surgical procedure may be done to reattach it.
There are several groups of people who are at a higher risk of developing this condition. They include expectant mothers, diabetics, those with high cholesterol levels, those with high blood pressure and members of certain races. For instance, African Americans and Hispanics are at high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy causes leakage of fluids into the retinal tissue. The development of new blood vessels on the surface of the retina can also cause diabetic vision problems. When blood vessels are damaged, the body tries to naturally boost circulation through the formation of new capillaries. A network of capillaries may block vision. Monitoring of blood sugar level, proper diet, exercising and taking the recommended medication as prescribed by a physician might help to prevent diabetic retinopathy from occurring.