Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

Birmingham Ophthalmologist Tyler Hall, M.D. shared information about preventing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and adults in the United States.  In diabetics there is too much sugar in the blood. When the blood sugar is constantly or frequently high, many complications occur: eyesight can suffer due to changes in the crystalline lens and the retina, cardiovascular disease can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other blood vessel problems in the kidney may also 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 I 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 II 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. Anyone with diabetes, especially those who have had diabetes for a long time, should have regular eye examinations-at least every year and more often if directed to do so by your eye doctor in order to identify the signs of diabetic retinopathy as early as possible. The early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is the key to maintaining eye health and vision for those with diabetes.

If you or someone you know is diabetic or is even at risk for diabetes please feel free to have them schedule an eye exam at Alabama Eye & cataract Center by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.