Men and women who have been diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to develop lifestyle strategies that support the ongoing regulation of blood sugar. One may not think that the spikes and drops in blood sugar would do nearly as much damage to the body as they do. The extensive effects of unregulated glucose in the blood are dramatic, and they can be quite concerning. That is why healthcare providers work in partnership to protect valuable aspects of living such as eyesight.
There are several health problems that can occur secondary to diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is one of them. This eye disease first occurs in a mild state that is referred to as non-proliferative retinopathy. Still a vital concern to your eye doctor, non-proliferative retinopathy means that the blood vessels that feed the retina have become weak. It is at this point when quick action can reduce the risk of this condition worsening into proliferative retinopathy. For retinopathy to become proliferative means that blood vessels are leaking and that new blood vessels are forming but are also incapable of successfully holding fluid.
Retinopathy and the Macula
The problem with retinopathy and the incapacitation of healthy blood vessels around the retina is that, when these vessels spread and continually lead fluid and blood, the surrounding tissue cannot avoid impact. The tissue around the retina is called the macula. When retinal vessels leak, the macular tissue gets flooded and swollen with fluid. This is referred to as macular edema. Because the macula sits adjacent to the retina, and because it is the retina that transfers light to the optic nerve, the pressure in this part of the eye can have devastating effects on vision.
The fact that diabetes is a primary condition related to diabetic retinopathy and several other secondary problems can be daunting. However, there is a silver lining here, and that is the value of healthy living in the face of diabetes. When diabetic patients harness the support available to them in areas like nutrition and lifestyle strategies for managing blood sugar, it is possible to greatly reduce risks for secondary health problems related to those spikes and drops in glucose.
Aloha Eye Clinic provide friendly care and diabetic eye services to patients in the Wailuku and Kihei areas. Contact and office near you to schedule your visit.