Diabetes and Vision Loss! What Choices Do You have ?Adapting Choices To Manage Diabetes, Blindness,Diabetic Retinopathy, And Other Challenges

A Menu For Preventable Blindness! Do You have diabetes ! what will your choice be?

Are you living with diabetes and don't know it.? Diabetes  exerts its effects  by signaling a myriad of health challenges. They can be managed and  even avoided with proper planning, One complication is diabetic retinopathy.  It can lead to  sudden vision loss , but is preventable  with early  discovery and treatment. The best starting place is recognition  and  treatment  plan.   This requires simple but progressive   adaption of healthy dietary directions.  Life style modification to minimize blood sugar to acceptable  level  can help with controlling diabetes.  For instance people with type 2 diabetes should be referred to an eye specialist  upon discovery.  Early  eye exam helps  prevent  or delay complications  that can lead  to vision loss.  Besides risk for heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, depression and  kidney failure,  diabetes can cause higher risk for blindness as it is not known  how long the condition exists. Symptoms  can be  absent,  slow , insidious and  unnoticeable. An immediate comprehensive dilated eye exam  is essential  for  reducing risks of  vision loss


Image courtesy of: Stephen Pearson

Diabetes is becoming a worldwide epidemic

According to World Health Organization over 650 million people are obese.  Consuming  heavy  load of  carbohydrates  and sugar throughout the day significantly  boosts  insulin levels. This increases risks for  insulin resistance and  obesity. Diabetes is a condition  where the  body develops resistance to insulin and leptin signaling,  In Effortless   Healing, 9 Simple Ways To Sidesteps Illness, Shed excess Weight  and Help  Your Body Fix itself informative keys  for incorporating  lifelstyle changes for adapting the type of nutrition that makes sense.  In addition  KetoFast Rejuvenate Your Health  with a Step by Step Guide to Timing  Ketogenic Meals is a quick reference read to  help  with understanding  the importance of healthy eating  habits to live  and achieving health fitness goals.

“Feeding and fasting can significantly impact how the body makes and uses proteins that are critical to decreasing insulin resistance and maintaining a healthy body weight.  Therefore, the timing  and duration between meals could be important factors to consider for people struggling with obesity-related conditions.”

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What is prediabetes?

Potential long -term complications of diabetes

Diabetes presents  a host of long-term complications that impact communities worldwide.  However  greater prevalence of  diabetes complications  impact people in developed countries .  This is due to diets  with higher fat intake, sedentary life style, stress,  low physical activity. Optimal  hydration is essential to compensate for increased thirst and frequent urination resulting from high blood sugar.

People with  diabetes are at risk for various ocular disorders. The combination of uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and dehydration complicate  risk of blindness progression  with greater severity. Today diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in young people. It affects  age  25 -74 .  Risk of blindness increases  proportionately with A1c levels.

 Managing  risk  and challenges  of diabetes

Keeping  blood glucose within recommended levels can prevent or slow the progress of complications (retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy).  Meal planning  with a set goal is a great start  . A combination of noninflammatory,  antioxidant healthy  eating , active lifestyle   and medication for  tight control of blood sugar have  been advocated to reduce risk of micro-vascular complications namely nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy.  Much of the risk for blindness  increases with  A1c level.  Significant risk reduction in retinopathy have been demonstrated  with tight  blood glucose level  in the UK Prospective  Prospective Diabetes Study(UKPDS33).   The risk for blindness  increases with A1c level .  For best risk  reduction  A1c should  range between 6-7. Beside  life style  and  healthy eating , alcohol consumption and medication use  review  are warranted to  resolve connection with  elevated  blood sugar levels. It is important to treat pain as it  can reduce activities , increase stress, cortisol and blood sugar.

About Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

Diabetic Retinopathy is the  most common  cause  of blindness, a complication of Diabetes that results from  damaged blood vessels in the retina.  Damaged blood vessels stimulate growth of   new blood vessels that are week , friable and leaky.   This is  silent but slowly progressive disease.  where symptoms  may  be absent or may manifest as mild vision problems. DR can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It  eventually  progress to blindness if not treated.  It is the leading cause of vision loss in 33% of diabetics age 25 to 75.  diabetics develop DR

DR screening is recommended annually for people with diabetes but less than  50% receive annual screening.   In the US  the ratio of  diabetics to ophthalmologists  ranges  1,600 to 1 despite  decline in the number of diabetics in recent years. There is a growing need for  eye care specialists to meet the DR screening needs of  the diabetic population. The waiting time  for annual screening, ophthalmology appointment can extend from   weeks to even months.

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Image courtesy of: Community Eye Health

Data projections! Need for Cost management

Diabetes can cause vision loss and blindness affecting various parts of the eye. Study projections  report  a potential  DR epidemic in  certain parts of the world in the future. The number of diabetics, especially in urban areas he number is expected to go up  by 2040.

“As per data from various epidemiological and screening programmes, the proportion of diabetic eye diseases in people with DM include refractive errors in 60% (needing power glasses), cataract in 40%, glaucoma 5% and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) affecting small vessels of retina in 20%. LVPEI being a tertiary referral centre, about 70% of OPD patients are those suffering from DR. And out of all DR patients, 30-40% have irreversible vision loss.”

More  at www.deccanherald.com

 

About the EyeArt® AI Eye Screening System

“The EyeArt Eye Screening System provides fully automated DR screening, including imaging, grading for DR in accordance with internationally recognized standards, and reporting, in a single office visit, enabling quick and accurate identification of patients with referable DR during a diabetic patient’s regular exam. Once the patient’s fundus images have been captured and submitted to the EyeArt System, the DR screening results are available to view and export to a PDF report in less than 60 seconds. “

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Making choices to overcome challenges and risks of Blindness

Currently, physicians treating patients with diabetes must refer them annually to an eye specialist for DR screening. While DR screening is recommended for all diabetic patients, less than half get screened annually. In contrast, the EyeArt AI Eye Screening System is designed to make in-clinic, real-time DR screening possible for any physician, enabling quick and accurate on-site identification of patients with DR during a diabetic patient’s regular exam, removing the biggest obstacles to annual DR screening and diagnosis: screening access and patient compliance. AI Eye Screening technology allows diabetes care providers to identify patients with referable DR in clinic, in real time, without needing eye care expertise on site, and immediately refer at-risk patients to ophthalmologists for further evaluation and treatment.


Image courtesy of: Reeda

What Can Be Done  To Boost Annual Eye Screening?

With EHR  access, annual  eye screening can be integrated in hospital admission and discharge planning.  Healthcare providers can  include triggers for  diabetic eye care planning and medication reviews intervention during hospitalization. This can be done  in similar ways as protocol for  vaccination or other interventions.  These protocols have worked successfully  both in adult and children .

Photo By Community Eye Health

Photo By National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP)

One Reply to “Diabetes and Vision Loss! What Choices Do You have ?Adapting Choices To Manage Diabetes, Blindness,Diabetic Retinopathy, And Other Challenges”

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