Know about Diabetic Retinopathy and How to Prevent it
- Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels of the retina of the eye
- It can lead to complete blindness
- Know ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes which damages the blood vessels of the retina of the eye. The problem starts with mild vision problems and can lead to complete blindness if left untreated. Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop this condition. If you have an uncontrolled level of blood sugar from a long time, then you more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy.
Causes of diabetic retinopathy
The retina in the eye needs a constant supply of blood to function properly. A network of tiny blood vessels is responsible for supplying blood. High blood sugar levels from a long time harm these blood vessels. If you have been suffering from diabetes for the past few years then you are at a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy
Mild vision problems are the early signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are no signs at an early stage. You can notice the symptoms only after complete progression of the condition. The symptoms are seen in both eyes.
Some symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty in identifying colours
- Dark stops in front of the eyes
- Poor night vision
- Sudden vision loss
- Vision degradation
Diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed through a dilated eye exam. The doctor will give you eye drops to dilate the pupils. The doctor will conduct an examination to check abnormal blood vessels, blocked blood vessels, damage of blood tissues, and fatty deposition in the retina or any other abnormality.
Who is at risk?
Diabetic retinopathy can happen to anyone who suffers from diabetes. The factors which can increase the risk of diabetic retinopathy are:
- The longer the duration of diabetes, the higher is the risk of diabetic retinopathy
- Less control over blood sugar level
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Use of tobacco
Methods to prevent diabetic retinopathy
You can control the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Here are some ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy which can control the risk of developing this condition.
Control your blood sugar level
High blood sugar levels trigger vision problem. You must check your blood sugar level and try to keep it normal. You should eat more fiber. Do not skip meals and drink plenty of water. This will help you maintain your blood sugar level.
Regular exercise is good for diabetic patients. It can control your diabetes and keep your eyes healthy. Exercise reduces the risk of various diseases. You can counter the side effects of diabetes by exercising regularly.
Keep a check on your blood pressure and cholesterol
Blood pressure and cholesterol level will help you control complications of diabetes. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can put you at a greater risk of vision loss.
Stop nicotine consumption
Smoking also increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Smoking also affects your blood pressure. So, to avoid any possibility of diabetic retinopathy you must control your smoking cravings.
You must get your eyes checked regularly if you are a diabetic. It will help you detect the possibility of developing diabetic retinopathy.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Nov 14, 2018
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