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
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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.”
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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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.”
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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.
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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 .
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