Monday, 1 October 2012

How can diabetes hurt the retinas of my eyes?


Retina damage happens slowly. Your retinas have tiny blood vessels that are easy to damage. Having high blood glucose and high blood pressure for a long time can damage these tiny blood vessels.

First, these tiny blood vessels swell and weaken. Some blood vessels then become clogged and do not let enough blood through. At first, you might not have any loss of sight from these changes. Have a dilated eye exam once a year even if your sight seems fine.

One of your eyes may be damaged more than the other. Or both eyes may have the same amount of damage.

Diabetic retinopathy is the medical term for the most common diabetes eye problem.


What can I do about diabetes retina problems?

Keep your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as you can.

Your eye care professional may suggest laser treatment, which is when a light beam is aimed into the retina of the damaged eye. The beam closes off leaking blood vessels. It may stop blood and fluid from leaking into the vitreous. Laser treatment may slow the loss of sight.

If a lot of blood has leaked into your vitreous and your sight is poor, your eye care professional might suggest you have surgery called a vitrectomy. A vitrectomy removes blood and fluid from the vitreous of your eye. Then clean fluid is put back into the eye. The surgery can make your eyesight better.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Best Foods & Vitamins for Eye Problems From Diabetes

Eye problems are a common complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Upward of 45 percent of diagnosed diabetics have mild to severe vision problems, the National Eye Institute reports. The condition is also known as retinopathy and results from damage to the retina portion of the eye--the part of the eye responsible for seeing detail. To reduce your risk of retinopathy be sure to manage your blood sugars closely with your doctor and dietitian. In addition, consider adding these foods and vitamins to your diabetic diet.

Yellow Corn

Diabetics are at heightened risk of experiencing damage to the macula portion of the retina. Significant damage to the macula can lead to macular degeneration--the leading cause of vision loss in older people. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two powerful antioxidants that protect the macula from damage caused by free radicals--harmful molecules that destroy healthy eye cells. Yellow corn is the vegetable with the highest concentration of these two nutrients. Other foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin include kale, spinach and eggs. You can use yellow corn as an ingredient in soups, stews or tossed into fresh salads.




Diabetics with high blood pressure are at an increased risk of vision problems. Elevated blood pressure--known as hypertension--impairs blood flow to the eye, preventing the flow of nutrients and waste to and from the eye. A diet rich in vitamin C may be able to lower blood pressure by relaxing your nervous system. Broccoli is very rich in vitamin C. One cup of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Also, broccoli is very low in dietary sodium. Eating a diet with sodium-rich foods is associated with hypertension.


The National Eye Institute states that high cholesterol levels in diabetics may boost eye problem risk. To keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range eat a low saturated and trans fat diet, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. In addition, consider adding fiber-rich foods like chickpeas into your diet. A diet rich in dietary fiber can decrease blood cholesterol levels. Eating 240 g of chickpeas provides 10 g of fiber. At the supermarket, opt for fresh chickpeas as opposed to the canned variety. Canned chickpeas contain significant amounts of sodium.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy


              The retina is a group of specialized cells that convert light as it enters though the lens into images. The eye nerve or optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the vascular (blood-vessel related) complications related to diabetes. This diabetes eye problem is due to damage of small vessels and is called a "microvascular complication." Kidney disease and nerve damage due to diabetes are also microvascular complications. Large blood vessel damage (also called macrovascular complications) includes complications like heart disease and stroke.
The microvascular complications have, in numerous studies, been shown to be related to high blood sugar levels. You can reduce your risk of these eye problems in diabetes complications by improving your blood sugar control.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in industrialized nations. The duration of diabetes is the single most important risk for developing retinopathy. So the longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk of this very serious eye problem. If retinopathy is not found early or is not treated, it can lead to blindness.

People with type 1 diabetes rarely develop retinopathy before puberty. In adults with type 1 diabetes, it is also rare to see retinopathy before five years' duration of diabetes. The risks of retinal damage increase with progressive duration of diabetes. Intensive control of blood sugar levels will reduce your risks of developing retinopathy. The DCCT, a large study of people with type 1 diabetes showed that people with diabetes who achieved tight control of their blood sugars with either an insulin pump or multiple daily injections of insulin were 50%-75% less likely to develop retinopathy, nephropathy (kidney disease), or nerve damage (all microvascular complications).

People with type 2 diabetes usually have signs of eye problems when diabetes is diagnosed. In this case, control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol with diabetes have an important role in slowing the progression of retinopathy and other eye problems.

Types of Retinopathy in Diabetes:
  • Background retinopathy. Sometimes the blood vessel damage exists, but there is no vision problem. This is called background retinopathy. It's important to carefully manage your diabetes at this stage to prevent background retinopathy from progressing to more serious eye disease.
  • Maculopathy. In maculopathy, the person has developed damage in a critical area called the macula. Because this occurs in an area that is critical to vision, this type of eye problem can significantly reduce vision.
  • Proliferative retinopathy. New blood vessels start to grow in the back of the eye. Because retinopathy is a microvascular complication of diabetes, a disease of small vessels, this type of retinopathy develops because of an increasing lack of oxygen to the eye from vascular disease. Vessels in the eye are thinned and occluded and they start to remodel.
Here, it is important to address the risks factors that can worsen the occluded vessels. Smoking cessation, high blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and blood sugar control must take place in order to stop the progression of new vessels from forming into the orbit of the eye. These are fragile vessels that can bleed and eventually cause a clot to form in the orbit, which scars and causes detachment of the retina. This eventually leads to irreversible vision loss.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy may involve laser procedures or surgery. In a study of people with diabetes with early retinopathy, laser therapy to burn the fragile vessel resulted in a 50% reduction of blindness.
To prevent retinopathy with diabetes, have your eye doctor screen your eyes annually. Women with diabetes who later become pregnant should have a comprehensive eye exam during the first trimester and close follow-up with an eye doctor during the rest of their pregnancy to avoid serious eye problems with diabetes. (This recommendation does not apply to women who develop gestational diabetes, since they are not at risk for retinopathy.)

To prevent eye problems in diabetes, you should:

When to Contact Your Doctor About Eye Problems in Diabetes

If you have diabetes, contact your doctor about any eye problems in if any of the following occur:


Monday, 2 July 2012

Eye Care for People With Diabetes

Eye care is especially important for people with diabetes because they are at increased risk of developing eye complications from the disease. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74.

All people with diabetes should take precautions to help reduce their risk of developing eye problems. Here are some eye care tips.

  1. Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor so that any eye problem can be detected early and treated.
  2. Maintain control of your blood glucose levels.
  3. Keep your blood pressure in control. High blood pressure by itself can lead to eye disease, so if you have high blood pressure as well as diabetes, it is especially important that you take steps to control both conditions.
  4. Get your blood cholesterol levels under control.
  5. Eat a healthy diet.
  6. Avoid smoking.
  7. Exercise regularly.

When Should I Call the Eye Doctor?


If you have diabetes, you should make an appointment to see your eye doctor if you experience any visual problems or notice any changes in your vision. You should seek medical care for your eyes immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

    Five Eye Care Tips for Diabetics


     If you have diabetes you should know that you are more susceptible to eye disorders like glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy and blindness. But there is a lot that you can do to take charge of and prevent such problems. Here are some tips for diabetics that can help fight these eye disorders.

    1. Keep your blood sugar levels in control. In order to achieve this you must stay away from sugary snacks and foods that are highly processed and made from white flour. The diet must include a lot of high fiber food, unsalted nuts, fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water so that toxins and wastes are removed from the system. The right diet keeps blood sugar levels steady without many spikes. 
    2. Control High Blood Pressure. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for high blood pressure. The best way to control high blood pressure is to exercise regularly. Even though you don't have the time to sweat it out at the gym, it would be very beneficial to walk the dog or take the stairs instead of the elevator or do some active gardening etc. A heart-friendly diet with less salt goes a long way in controlling blood pressure.
    3. Say Bye to Smoking. It has been observed that smoking triples the retinopathy progression in diabetics. When you realize that your eyes are in danger because of smoking, isn't it time you took an effort to quit that killer habit?
    4. Keep that yearly appointment with the ophthalmologist. "Taking just an hour or so to have a dilated eye examination at least once a year can save people with diabetes from a lifetime of blindness," said Carl Kupfer, MD, director of the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health. Do not settle for your regular doctor. Only an eye doctor can dilate the pupils and detect any changes that suggest retinopathy. Early detection and routine monitoring are very essential to treatment of the disease.
    5. Be aware of the symptoms that are associated with eye disorders. In case you have blurred vision, hurting eyes, red eyes that don't go away, eye pressure, or you see spots and floaters, see doubles, have trouble reading make sure you visit the eye doctor at once.

    Eyes are God's gift to us to see this beautiful world. Take care of it the best that you can!


    Friday, 1 June 2012

    Diabetes problems

    What are diabetes problems?


    Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause diabetes problems. This high blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can damage many parts of the body, such as the heart, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. Heart and blood vessel disease can lead to heart attacks and strokes. You can do a lot to prevent or slow down diabetes problems.
    This booklet is about eye problems caused by diabetes. You will learn the things you can do each day and during each year to stay healthy and prevent diabetes problems.

    Drawing of a cross section of the eye with the retina, blood vessels on the retina, the optic nerve, the vitreous, and the lens labeled. 

    What should I do each day to stay healthy with diabetes?


    Drawing of a bowl containing bananas, grapes, and an apple. Follow the healthy eating plan that you and your doctor or dietitian have worked out.
    Drawing of a silhouette of a woman who is walking. Be active a total of 30 minutes most days. Ask your doctor what activities are best for you.
    Drawing of an open pill container on its side with some pills spilling out and an insulin bottle. Take your medicines as directed.
    Drawing of a hand holding a blood glucose meter that reads 114. Check your blood glucose every day. Each time you check your blood glucose, write the number in your record book.
    Drawing of two hands holding a bare foot. Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, redness, or sore toenails.
    Drawing of a toothbrush with toothpaste on it and an open container of floss with some floss hanging out. Brush and floss your teeth every day.
    Drawing of two arms with a blood pressure cuff around one arm. The hand of the other arm is holding the pump connected to the cuff. Control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
    Drawing of a lit cigarette in a circle covered by a slash sign to show that smoking is not allowed. Don't smoke.

    What can I do to prevent diabetes eye problems?


    You can do a lot to prevent diabetes eye problems.
    • Keep your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as you can.
    • Have an eye care professional examine your eyes once a year. Have this exam even if your vision is OK. The eye care professional will use drops to make the black part of your eyes-pupils-bigger. This process is called dilating your pupil, which allows the eye care professional to see the back of your eye. Finding eye problems early and getting treatment right away will help prevent more serious problems later on.
    • Ask your eye care professional to check for signs of cataracts and glaucoma. See What other eye problems can happen to people with diabetes? to learn more about cataracts and glaucoma.
    • If you are planning to get pregnant soon, ask your doctor if you should have an eye exam.
    • If you are pregnant and have diabetes, see an eye care professional during your first 3 months of pregnancy.
    • Don't smoke.

    Sunday, 20 May 2012

    Healthy Eating

    "More and more we have to realize that healthy eating, healthy sleeping and regular exercise are three important things that everyone should do".


        "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." - Mark Twain

    "Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." - Samuel Ullman

    For seniors, the benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance to illness and disease, higher energy levels, faster recuperation times, and better management of chronic health problems. As we age, eating well can also be the key to a positive outlook and emotional balance.

    How does the body change with ageing?

    Ageing changes the body in many ways. In addition to decreasing mobility and heart function, sensory changes that affect meal intake can occur. Changes in the digestive tract affect digestion and absorption of food. Some older adults are at risk for malnutrition and unintended weight loss due to physiological changes associated with aging

    Being aware that changes occur in the geriatric population is critically important. Geriatric patients are especially different due to the unique changes that occur in this population.


    99% of the elderly population require corrective lenses. Age related macular degeneration is the number one cause of new onset blindness in adults.


    Wednesday, 1 February 2012

    Diabetes - eye care

    Diabetes- eye care :

    Diabetes can harm your eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, the back part of your eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases your risk of having glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems.
    You may not know there is any damage to your eyes until the problem is very bad. Your doctor can catch problems early if you get regular eye exams.

    To prevent diabetes eyeproblems :

    You can do a lot to prevent diabetes eye problems.
    • Keep your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as you can.
    • Have an eye care professional examine your eyes once a year. Have this exam even if your vision is OK. The eye care professional will use drops to make the black part of your eyes-pupils-bigger. This process is called dilating your pupil, which allows the eye care professional to see the back of your eye. Finding eye problems early and getting treatment right away will help prevent more serious problems later on.