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Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

POSTED ON November 1, 2010

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The number 52.  It isn’t my lucky number or my age…it is the number of weeks in a year but here in Indiana it is also the number of Hoosiers whose vision is impaired each year from diabetic retinopathy according to the American Diabetes Association.  Each week someone in the Hoosier states vision is impaired from diabetic retinopathy.  And this can be prevented. Diabetes is a silent disease and so is diabetic retinopathy sometimes.  ...

The number 52.  It isn’t my lucky number or my age…it is the number of weeks in a year but here in Indiana it is also the number of Hoosiers whose vision is impaired each year from diabetic retinopathy according to the American Diabetes Association.  Each week someone in the Hoosier states vision is impaired from diabetic retinopathy.  And this can be prevented.

Diabetes is a silent disease and so is diabetic retinopathy sometimes.  Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease from diabetes according to the National Eye Institute (NEI) and a leading cause of blindness in adults.  Diabetic retinopathy is defined by changes in blood vessels in the retina.  Changes can come from blood vessels leaking fluid out of the eye or new blood vessels forming over the retina both resulting in damage to our eyes and our ability to see.

Diabetic retinopathy according to Indianapolis eye doctors at Dr. Tavel and across the state can have no symptoms at first making this disease along with diabetes sneaky and silent.  When vision loss does occur from diabetic retinopathy it occurs in two ways either from blood leaking from blood vessels into the center of the eye blurring vision or from fluid leaking in the macula (the part of the eye helping us see sharp images and straight ahead) forcing the macula to swell and blur vision.

What can be done to decrease these 52 cases each year and prevent vision loss?  Annual eye exams!  Annual dilated eye examinations are the number one way Hoosier adults can save their vision from diseases like diabetic retinopathy.  Those adults with diabetes already or with higher chances of getting diabetes (genetics or lifestyle) should monitor their eye sight with as much vigilance as their blood sugar and get annual if not bi-annual eye examinations according to the NEI.  Because diabetic retinopathy can be symptom-less at first, continual care is needed through eye examinations and overall monitoring of health care to protect vision.

With this kind of care and awareness we can then hope to decrease these 52 cases of vision loss to 0 in the future from diabetic retinopathy!

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