Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and adults in the United States.  In diabetics, as we all know, there is too much sugar in the blood. When the blood sugar is constantly or frequently high, many complications occur: eyesight can suffer, heart attacks, strokes, and other blood vessel problems can occur. When blood sugar is maintained at a normal level (between 80 and 120) most of the time, the complications of diabetes can be reduced. Controlling blood sugar is the most important thing a person with diabetes can do to prevent or reduce the complications of diabetes.

Type one diabetes usually begins at a young age and patients must take insulin to survive and control blood sugar. They should test their own blood sugar with a blood sugar-monitoring device several times daily so they can adjust their diet, exercise, and insulin doses to keep the blood sugar under control. They should follow a diet controlled in carbohydrates and low in fat and cholesterol. Regular exercise is also very important as it helps reduce blood sugar.

Type two diabetes usually starts in adult life and is often not dependent on insulin. Maintaining normal weight and a diet low in calories, fat, and cholesterol is the key. Blood sugar can be controlled either with diet alone or in combination with pills to lower blood sugar. In some cases, insulin treatment is also necessary.

In addition to the importance of diet and exercise, there are other factors that can affect diabetes. High blood pressure increases the likelihood of complications and therefore should be strictly controlled and kept normal at all times.

All people with diabetes, especially those who have had diabetes for a long time, should have regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist on a yearly bases or even more often. Please call for the appointment at one of Doctor & Associates' offices at 203-227-4113.