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Diabetic Eye Disease

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Are You at Risk for Diabetic Eye Disease?:National Eye Institue:"If you have diabetes, you are also at risk for other diabetic eye diseases. Studies show that you are twice as likely to get a cataract as a person who does not have the disease. Also, cataracts develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes. Cataracts can usually be treated by surgery. Glaucoma may also become a problem. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults. And, as with diabetic retinopathy, the longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk of getting glaucoma. Glaucoma may be treated with medications, laser, or other forms of surgery."
http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/ded_risk.htm

Preventing diabetic eye disease:niddk:"There are two things people with diabetes can do to slow, and perhaps prevent that complication, according to Dr. William Knowler: with the help of their doctors, he advises, they should try to keep their blood sugar and blood pressure as close to normal as possible. Secondly, they should have regular eye exams with eye drops to detect any early signs of eye disease, such as small problems in the blood vessels of the retina. These early signs, called "background retinopathy," usually do not affect eyesight by themselves, but they can lead to a more dangerous stage, called proliferative retinopathy. In this second stage, new blood vessels build up in the retina and branch out into the vitreous humor in the middle of the eye. These blood vessels break and bleed easily, causing a blood clot that steals sight."
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/diabetes/pima/dieyedi/dieyedi.htm

Common Symptoms of diabetic eye disease:eyecare.org:"Patients with diabetic eye disease may complain of visual symptoms or be completely without symptoms. Some symptoms which may indicate the presence of diabetic eye disease include changes in refractive error, blurred vision, distorted vision, or double vision. Many patients with diabetic eye disease will experience no symptoms. Diabetic Retinopathy is the most serious ocular complication of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when damage to the tiny blood vessels which provide oxygen to the retina become damaged. The damage allows blood and fluid to escape into the retina and can also result in new blood vessel growth. These new vessels are even more fragile and frequently bleed into the vitreous. Patients with the most serious form of diabetic retinopathy (proliferative) are at a substantial risk for severe visual loss without treatment"
http://www.eyecare.org/consumer/disease/dr.html

Treatment options for diabetic eye disease:health link:"Once diabetic retinopathy has been detected, there are currently two treatments options which are very effective in reducing vision loss from the disease. The first option, laser surgery, is performed to seal leaking blood vessels, preventing bleeding into the eye. The second option, vitrectomy, is necessary for diabetic patients who have a significant amount of blood in the fluid portion of the eye (vitreous). In the vitrectomy procedure, the vitreous is removed and replaced with a salt solution. Because the vitreous is mostly water, there is no noticeable difference between the salt solution and the normal vitreous. Both laser surgery and vitrectomy are successful treatments in the hands of specialists, hut they do not cure diabetic retinopathy additional treatment may be necessary. Individuals with diabetes face many challenges in attempting to avoid complications of the disease. Diabetic retinopathy is one of these challenges and another reminder of the importance of good diabetes self-management and undergoing yearly eye examinations"
http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/932516761.html

Diabetic Eye Disease; who gets it?:healthlink:"Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may have as a complication of the disease. All of these diseases can cause vision loss or even blindness. They include diabetic retinopathy, damage to the vessels of the retina; cataract, clouding of the eye's lens and glaucoma, an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and vision loss. Who gets diabetic retinopathy? Anyone who has diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you'll get it. Nearly half of all people with diabetes will develop some degree of the disease. The National Eye Institute estimates that as many as 24,000 people with diabetes lose their vision every year"
http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/diabetes/dia_eye.asp

What kinds of eye problems are possible with diabetic eye disease?:health A-Z:"Diabetic eye disease may include: Diabetic retinopathy. This disease is specific to those with diabetes and damages blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that translates light into electrical impulses that the brain interprets as vision. There are no early symptoms, only an eye exam can identify diabetic retinopathy. Irreversible vision problems occur when the disease has progressed. Cataracts. Cataracts are clouding of the eye's lens causing vision to become blurry. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop a cataract as those who do not have the disease. In addition, cataracts tend to develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes, around middle age. Glaucoma. With glaucoma there is an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to progressive optic nerve damage and loss of vision. People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to develop glaucoma as other adults."
http://www.healthatoz.com/atoz/diabetes1/diaeye.html

Can people with diabetic eye disease prevent retinopathy?:Eugene Eye Care:"Diabetic retinopathy cannot be prevented. However, your risk can be greatly reduced. The Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) showed that better control of blood sugar levels slows the onset and progression of retinopathy and lessens the need for laser surgery for severe retinopathy. The study found that the group that tried to keep their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible had much less eye, kidney, and nerve disease. This level of blood surgar control may not be best for everyone, including some elderly patients, children under 13, or people with heart disease. Your internist or family physician should be consulted about which program is right for you. A woman who becomes pregnant and has previous diabetic retinopathy can have the retionopathy worsen during pregnancy. These patients need careful examination of the retina during this time period"
http://eugeneeyecare.com/conditions/Diabetic_Eye_Disease.html

Retinal complications of diabetes with diabetic eye disease:Richmond Eye Associates:"Diabetes Mellitus is more than just a problem with the control of the blood sugar. It is a vascular disease: a disease of the blood vessels. Diabetes can lead to complications throughout the body, including blood vessel problems in the kidneys, heart, brain, and eyes. The retina lines the inside surface of the eye and receives and processes visual information for their transmission to the brain via the optic nerve. The primary source of blood supply to the retina comes from a single artery, the central retinal artery, which enters the eye through the optic nerve. Once inside the eye, the artery branches on the surface of the retina into smaller and smaller vessels to supply all of the retina. An especially critical part of the retina is the "macula" which serves the central vision of the eye, or the reading vision. There is a pin-point spot of the macula called the "fovea" which has the sharpest vision. The eye is unique in that living blood vessels in the retina can be observed by the examining physician. A number of problems can arise in the retina as complications of diabetes. Risk factors for the development of these complications include"
http://www.richmondeye.com/diab1.htm

Current research being done for diabetic eye disease:Scott & White Hospital and Clinic:"Much research is being done to learn more about diabetic eye disease. For instance, the National Eye Institute is supporting a number of research studies in the laboratory and with patients to learn what causes diabetic retinopathy and how it can be better treated. This research should provide better ways to detect and treat diabetic eye disease and prevent blindness in more people with diabetes."
http://www2.sw.org/dnet/medical/eye.htm#nine

Take this Eye-Q Test See how much you know about diabetic eye disease :agingwell:"Of the 16 million people with diabetes in the United States, nearly half will develop some degree of diabetic eye disease. Do you know that diabetic eye disease is a leading cause of blindness? If you have diabetes, do you know how to reduce your risk of visual loss? To determine how high your Eye-Q is, answer the following questions about diabetic eye disease. True False Not Sure 1.People with diabetes are more likely than people without diabetes to develop certain eye diseases."
http://www.agingwell.state.ny.us/selfcare/eyecare/eyeq-test2.htm



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Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on Wednesday, September 29, 2010


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