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Diabetic Retinopathy, Don’t Let It Blind You

School of Medicine researchers have taken a significant step forward in their efforts to use stem cells to block vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects millions of people with diabetes. A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted on consenting type 2 diabetic patients who had scheduled comprehensive eye examination including dilated funduscopy with +78DS. Laser-sealing eye blood vessels can save central vision, but this often sacrifices peripheral and night vision, according to Akrit Sodhi, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “If I had seen someone like myself at a younger age – someone who has gone blind and couldn’t look after themselves any more – it probably would have been a wake-up call. To maintain a continuum of eye care, a 5-10 year programme that encompasses screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), pre-school vision, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataract are being developed within existing health structures. The model was based on the approximately 37,000 Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adults with diabetic macular edema in the United States for whom ranibizumab treatment could be used. Bulk materials may be requested by contacting Neyal Ammary-Risch at ammaryn@nei.nih.gov.

The only available treatment, destruction of the pituitary gland, an aggressive and controversial surgical procedure that caused many complications, had fallen out of favor. Laser photocoagulation refers to the precise and concentrated application of high energy light, typically of a single wavelength (called monochromatic light). African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, and Alaska Natives aged 20 and older are at least 1.5 times more likely to have diagnosed diabetes than their White counterparts. This provides essential baseline data against which future progress can be assessed. Together, we challenge one another to live our best and fullest lives and learn to manage the complications of diabetes with independence and dignity. Vincent targets, a reduction in the incidence rate of blindness in the diabetic population by 17% will be detected with 95% power. It is inevitable that your eyes will get affected.

Second,  there is a small window of a year or so (my personal observation) that patients are susceptible to vision loss once proliferative changes are noted. DR is a cause of visual disability although diabetic patients are not exempted from blindness from other eye diseases such as cataract and glaucoma. If the disease is left alone, you may experience dark spots in your vision, poor night vision, inability to see colors, glaucoma and retinal detachment. The prevalence of CSME is negligible at short durations following diagnosis but increases to more than 10% after 25 years. Whether you are a type 1 or type 2 diabetic the results are the same. If you have poor blood sugar control, high blood pressure and high cholesterol you are at high risk for retinopathy. Smoking doubles the risk too.

Taking care of your eyes will begin as soon as you go to your ophthalmologist. A good eye doctor will dilate your eyes at every visit and do other tests to check for problems in the retina. After cataract surgery I continued to see my opthalmologist. He spent a lot of time at each visit using bright lights and magnifiers to study my retina. I didn’t know what he was looking for. On one visit he said I had tiny microaneurysms beginning to form in one eye. He explained that these were spots where the capillaries were starting to leak, not a lot, but enough to need intervention.

He said I would need laser treatment. It sounded scary, but he said it was not anything like the cataract surgery. The treatment would be done at his office, not at a hospital, and it would not involve needles or anesthesia, or even lying down. For that, we must look to the future of molecular and tissue engineering, to the spirit of making the irreparable reparable, and to a host of novel ideas that will, hopefully, become the passion of our best and brightest biomedical scientists. I sat at one of the machines, set my chin on the chin rest and looked at a small light. | Article | PubMed | ISI | Working Party. Blind and low-vision diabetics can access “Diabetes Forecast” and “Diabetes Self-Management” magazines through NFB- NEWSLINE®, the world’s largest digital talking newspaper service for the blind, available free of charge to anyone who is legally blind.

She was coagulating the spots that were leaking. It was done before I had time to run out of breath. The doctor told me that for a few days I would have blind spots where the laser did its work, and he was right. It was a few days before the blind spots were completely gone. But my diabetic retinopathy had been treated. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. You may want someone with you at the eye doctor’s office so you don’t have to drive home.

Yearly visits to an ophthalmologist are a must. No one else can detect early diabetic retinopathy symptoms, and catching the problems early means the disease has no chance to progress. And there is something else you can do. Learn about antioxidants and their benefits in preventing and repairing all kinds of diabetic neuropathy. There is proof they slow down the effects of diabetic retinopathy. The day you find out you have type 2 diabetes, that’s the time to find a good ophthalmologist. It is possible that you’ve been diabetic for a while without knowing it.

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