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Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

Points to Remember Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. DME is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the area of the retina called the macula. Controlling diabetes—by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet—can prevent or delay vision loss. Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, used alone or in combination. NEI supports research to develop new therapies for diabetic retinopathy, and to compare the effectiveness of existing therapies for different patient groups. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Eye Return

Diabetes And The Eye Return

Diabetes can lead to numerous vision problems. When diabetes is poorly controlled, there is an excess amount of sugar in the blood, causing the vessels that supply the eye with blood to thicken and harden, which prevents them from doing their job properly. The iris: located on the surface of the eye, it gives the eye its colour. The crystalline lens: suspended behind the iris, this biconvex structure acts like a lens, directing and focusing the light on the retina. The vitreous humour: a transparent jelly-like substance that gives the eye its round shape and helps the flow of oxygen to the eye. The retina: a thin layer of cells lining the back of the eye, it senses images, colours, shapes and motion; The optic nerve: situated at the back of the eye, it transmits the images captured by the eye to the brain. Diabetes is not a primary cause of cataracts or glaucoma. However, these eye diseases tend to appear prematurely in people with diabetes. Regular eye exams are essential since the effect of diabetes on the eye usually produces no symptoms until well advanced. The recommended frequency of eye exams is as follows: Starting at the age of 15 or 5 years after diagnosis Every year or according to recommendations of the health professional Every year or according to recommendations of the health professional During the first 3 months of pregnancy, and if needed afterwards. Recommandations adapted fromCanadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes in Canada. If you have retinopathy, the frequency of your eye exams will vary depending on the severity of the disease. In addition to annual eye exams, consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you have the following symptoms: Blurred vision that changes from one day Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar In Dogs

High Blood Sugar In Dogs

Hyperglycemia in Dogs A dog with abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood is said to have hyperglycemia. A simple carbohydrate sugar that circulates in the blood, glucose is a major source of energy for the body, of which normal levels range between 75-120mg. Insulin, a hormone that is produced and released by the pancreas into the bloodstream when glucose levels rise, plays a key role in maintaining normal sugar levels. Low levels or absolute deficiency of insulin results in abnormally high blood sugar levels. Some of the causes for hyperglycemia may be pancreatitis, and the resulting inability to produce insulin; normally occurring hormones, especially in female dogs; diet; and infections of the body (such as teeth, or urinary tract). Middle aged and older dogs are more at risk for developing hyperglycemia, and it is more common in female dogs than in males. Any breed can be affected, but some smaller breeds appear to be more disposed, including beagles, cairn terriers, dachshunds, miniature poodles and schnauzers. Symptoms and Types Clinical symptoms may vary depending on the underlying disease/condition. Your dog may not be showing any serious symptoms, especially those if the increased sugar is thought to be temporary, hormonal, or stress induced hyperglycemia. Some of the more common symptoms include: Depression Weight loss Excessive hunger Dehydration Bloodshot eyes (due to inflamed blood vessels) Liver enlargement Nerve damage in legs Severe depression (in cases of very high blood sugar levels) Non-healing wounds;infection is increased as the excess sugar feeds fungal and bacterial invaders Tissue damage (due to oxidizing [burning] effect of the excess sugar in the tissue) Causes Other than high stress situations, harmful drug interactions (such as with he Continue reading >>

7 Tips To Treat Swollen Feet In Diabetics

7 Tips To Treat Swollen Feet In Diabetics

Diabetics often complain of swelling in the feet and legs. It happens due to improper blood circulation because an increased pressure damages blood capillaries. Damaged capillaries cause peripheral oedema, leakage of fluids into surrounding tissues, which causes swelling. However, several other reasons can play a role in causing swollen feet in diabetics. The risk of infections and severe complications like foot ulcers and gangrene that can even lead to limb amputation can increase in diabetics with swollen feet. That’s why, you should not ignore even minor swelling in your feet. In most cases, when the swelling has just started, simple lifestyle changes can reduce swelling and provide relief to a great extent. Here are 7 tips for diabetics to reduce swelling in the feet. Image: Getty Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Blood Sugar Imbalances

Diabetes And Blood Sugar Imbalances

Prediabetes-19% or 59 million + 18 million have diabetes = 83 million 27% either prediabetes or diabetes (pancreas and liver imbalance)-this heals! Data from the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet Total: 23.6 million children and adults in the United States—7.8% of the population—have diabetes. Diagnosed: 17.9 million people Undiagnosed: 5.7 million people Pre-diabetes: 57 million people New Cases: 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year. One out of every 4 Americans or 25% has either diabetes or prediabetes In the past decade, the incidence among people in their 30s has jumped by 70 percent 40 percent of people ages 40 to 74 are pre-diabetic, explained Dr. Frank Vinicor, diabetes chief for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once the body loses its ability to control blood sugar levels, the harm spreads everywhere from your eyes to your feet. “Diabetes effects the total body because blood sugar goes everywhere in the body,” says the CDC’s Frank Vinicor. World faces a “devastating” diabetes epidemic-World Health Organization The number of people who have pre-diabetes has more than doubled since two years ago. For decades, experts have worried that too much sugar damages small blood vessels, leading to blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. But now the spotlight is shifting. “Small-vessel problems that affect the kidney, eyes, and nervous system are devastating,” says Vinicor. “But large-vessel problems like heart attacks and strokes are far and away the most common lethal complications of diabetes. Sixty percent of diabetics die of a heart attack and 20 percent die of a stroke.” Warning Signs Type 1 diabetes: Frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak. Or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes can steal your vision. Stages of diabetic eye disease There are two main stages of diabetic eye disease. NPDR (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy) This is the early stage of diabetic eye disease. Many people with diabetes have it. With NPDR, tiny blood vessels leak, making the retina swell. When the macula swells, it is called macular edema. This is the most common reason why people with diabetes lose their vision. Also with NPDR, blood vessels in the retina can close off. This is called macular ischemia. When that happens, blood cannot reach the macula. Sometimes tiny particles called exudates can form in the retina. These can affect your vision too. If you have NPDR, your vision will be blurry. PDR (proliferative diabetic retinopathy) PDR is the more advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. It happens when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization. These fragile new vessels often bleed into the vitreous. If they only bleed a little, you might see a few dark floaters. If they bleed a lot, it might block all vision. These new blood vessels can form scar tissue. Scar tissue can cause problems with the macula or lead to a detached retina. PDR is very serious, and can steal both your central and peripheral (side) vision. Continue reading >>

High Blood Pressure Dangers: Hypertension's Effects On Your Body

High Blood Pressure Dangers: Hypertension's Effects On Your Body

Damage to your eyes Tiny, delicate blood vessels supply blood to your eyes. Like other vessels, they, too, can be damaged by high blood pressure: Eye blood vessel damage (retinopathy). High blood pressure can damage the vessels supplying blood to your retina, causing retinopathy. This condition can lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision and complete loss of vision. If you also have both diabetes and high blood pressure, you're at an even greater risk. Fluid buildup under the retina (choroidopathy). In this condition, fluid builds up under your retina because of a leaky blood vessel in a layer of blood vessels located under the retina. Choroidopathy (kor-oid-OP-uh-thee) can result in distorted vision or in some cases scarring that impairs vision. Nerve damage (optic neuropathy). This is a condition in which blocked blood flow damages the optic nerve. It can kill nerve cells in your eyes, which may cause bleeding within your eye or vision loss. Sexual dysfunction Although the inability to have and maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction) becomes increasingly common in men as they reach age 50, it's even more likely to occur if they have high blood pressure, too. Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of your blood vessels and causes your arteries to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis), limiting blood flow. This means less blood is able to flow to your penis. For some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections — often referred to as erectile dysfunction. The problem is fairly common, especially among men who are not treating their high blood pressure. Women may have sexual dysfunction as a side effect of high blood pressure, as well. High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to your vagina. For some women, this l Continue reading >>

Eyes And Chronic Kidney Disease

Eyes And Chronic Kidney Disease

Diabetes and high blood pressure aren’t only the leading causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). They’re also the leading causes of eye disease and loss of vision. If your renal disease is a result of either condition your vision may be at risk. Some of the most common eye problems that occur in CKD patients are retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. Retinopathy Retinopathy is a condition where the small blood vessels in the eyes become damaged as a result of hypertension or diabetes. When the damage is caused by diabetes, it is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes elevates the blood glucose levels in the bloodstream which can damage the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys, fingers feet and eyes. High blood pressure places strain on the walls of the blood vessels, weakening them to the point where they can break or burst. Like CKD, both types of retinopathy occur over time and symptoms are often not felt until the damage is done. Sometimes damaged vessels can become scar tissue and turn into detached retina, a condition that causes severe loss of sight or blindness. It should be treated by a medical professional right away. Cataracts Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. The lens of the eye is normally clear. Its purpose is to focus the light coming in from the pupil to the retina at the back of the eye. A cataract scatters the incoming light and can make everything look blurry. Cataracts develop as we age. But patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for cataracts. Diabetics can develop what is known as “sugar cataracts,” a cataract that appears suddenly and grows to such a point that the entire lens is clouded. High levels of glucose react with proteins found in the eye and form a byproduct that settles on the lens. Glaucoma Glaucoma affect Continue reading >>

What Treatments Are Available For Diabetic Eye Disease?

What Treatments Are Available For Diabetic Eye Disease?

The first step in any treatment for diabetic eye disease is to maintain blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels as close to normal as possible. Treatment of diabetic macular edema (swelling or the accumulation of blood and fluids in the macula, the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision), has evolved a great deal in the last five to ten years, and is based on the severity of the edema. At present, there are three options: laser treatment Avastin, Lucentis, or Eylea injection intravitreal steroids: Kenalog, Ozurdex, and Iluvien Laser Treatment This technique is used by retinal surgeons to treat a number of eye conditions, one of which is diabetic eye disease. A beam of high-intensity light is directed into the eye to seal off leaking blood vessels and prevent additional blood and fluid from leaking into the vitreous, which is the jelly-like substance that fills the inside of the back part of the eye. The doctor administers eye drops to dilate (open up) the pupil and numb the eye before treatment begins. Because lasers cannot restore lost vision, it is critical to maintain regular comprehensive eye examinations so that treatment can be initiated as soon as diabetic eye changes are detected. There are two types of laser treatments for diabetic eye disease: Focal laser treatment, also called photocoagulation: The retina is treated to stop or slow the leakage of blood and fluid from abnormal blood vessels within the eye. Focal laser, however, can also destroy surrounding healthy retinal tissue as it seals the leakage from abnormal blood vessel growth; therefore, it is not used on blood vessels directly under the macula, the center of the retina. Scatter laser treatment, also called panretinal photocoagulation: The areas of the retina away f Continue reading >>

Blurry Vision And Diabetes: What's The Connection?

Blurry Vision And Diabetes: What's The Connection?

Blurry vision is being unable to see the fine details. Another way of describing it is seeing a lack of sharpness. Blurred eyesight is similar to seeing things as if they are in the out-of-focus parts of a photograph. The blurriness can be subtle or obvious, can change through the day, and can come on slowly or quickly. It depends on the cause. Diabetes can cause blurry vision for a variety of reasons. Both short-term and long-term complications can affect the vision of someone with diabetes. Contents of this article: How does diabetes affect the eyes? Long-term uncontrolled diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels that cause damage to small blood vessels over time. This damage can lead to problems with part of the eye called the retina which can create blurred vision. Short-term blurriness in people with diabetes is due to a different cause. Fluid shifts into and out of the eye due to high blood sugar levels, causing the lens of the eye to swell. This change in its shape causes blurriness as the lens is the part that focuses light onto the back of the eye. This short-term issue will resolve once blood sugar levels are lowered. Can diabetes treatment cause blurriness? Diabetes can also cause short-term blurriness if blood sugar levels fall too low (hypoglycemia). This can happen due to the timing of food or a change in activity levels in people who take medication that increases insulin in the body. Rather than being caused by changes in the eye, blurriness from low blood sugars is caused by the effects of hypoglycemia on the brain. Vision affected in this way will return to normal after glucose levels return to normal. Is blurry vision with diabetes temporary? As stated above, blurry vision can be caused by both short-term and long-term complications of diabetes. L Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia:

Hypoglycemia:

Visit our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and Answers Just tell me what to take Hypoglycemia is a condition in which there is an abnormally low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. As glucose is particularly important metabolic fuel for the brain (not mentioning the rest of the body), lowered glucose can result in a host of central nervous system disorders. Hypoglycemia causes sustained stress which can result in a variety of symptoms. A person suffering from hypoglycemia may display any of the following symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, irritability, fainting spells, depression, anxiety, cravings for sweets, confusion, night sweats, weakness in the legs, swollen feet, a feeling of tightness in the chest, constant hunger, pain in various parts of the body (especially the eyes), nervous habits, mental disturbances, and insomnia. People with hypoglycemia can become very aggressive and lose their tempers easily. Any or all of these symptoms may occur a few hours after eating sweets. The onset and severity of symptoms can be related to the length of time since the last meal was eaten and the type of food that was eaten in that meal. The main cause of low blood sugar is a diet high in refined carbohydrates. This is a diet rich in processed foods, sugar, soda, and coffee. Sound familiar? Complex carbohydrates are really long chains of sugar molecules when they get broken down during digestion. These foods require little digestion and get absorbed all at once and all too rapidly into the bloodstream. This sugary food consumption shocks the body and alarms your whole system. "Get rid of it!! Out rushes the insulin, made by your pancreas for this reason and knocks out every bit of glucose and quickly stores it as fat. (The body does store suga Continue reading >>

Eye Changes When You Come Down With Diabetes

Eye Changes When You Come Down With Diabetes

by John Walsh, P.A., C.D.E., Ruth Roberts, M.A. Changes in vision may happen at the time that diabetes is first diagnosed or at any time that blood sugar control is poor. Fluctuating blood sugars cause the lens to swell and shrink, and result in fluctuating vision. Many times, people who have "borderline" diabetes finally decide to take their diabetes seriously when their vision becomes blurred. Sometimes, people coming down with diabetes marvel that they no longer need their glasses to see in the distance. But as insulin or other therapy is begun and the blood sugar drops, the abnormal swelling diminishes. In the short-term vision becomes blurred and is not corrected by their prescription lenses. Either of these scenarios can be frightening to people who have heard of the severe eye damage that goes along with diabetes. Blurred vision in both eyes when insulin or other treatment begins is almost never caused by damage to the eye. Rather, it results from the speed at which the swelling, due to high blood sugars in the previous weeks and months, dissipates from the lens. Vision is usually out of sync for 3 to 4 weeks, sometimes with an accompanying headache. After a visit to the physician to confirm that the abnormal vision is actually a temporary problem caused by lowering the blood sugars, a common treatment is to visit the reading glasses section in a large pharmacy. There, the person tries on different strengths of "reading glasses" until he finds one that allows him to see clearly at distances. As the days pass, a weaker version may be needed until eventually his own prescription lenses again work. Never buy prescription lenses during any period of uncontrolled blood sugars. These lenses are unlikely to work once the blood sugar is normalized. These vision changes a Continue reading >>

Quit Looking Tired! 10 Tips For Naturally Reducing The Appearance Of Puffy Eyes

Quit Looking Tired! 10 Tips For Naturally Reducing The Appearance Of Puffy Eyes

//by Annmarie Skin Care // 17 Comments It can be disheartening to get ready for a big eventa job interview, first date, or weddingand look in the mirror, only to see tired, puffy eyes looking back. Whether or not youre really tired, you probably dont want to look it. What can you do to lessen the appearance of tired, puffy eyes? Here are a few tips. Puffy eyes may seem like a skin issue, since thats where it shows up, but it's actually something thats happening underneath the skin. The eye area is one of the most sensitive and thinnest places on our skin, so it can tell us a lot about what is actually happening internally. Puffy eyes are actually a form of edema, or water retention, that shows up under the eyes and that can be caused by a lot of different things. Waking up with puffy eyes is extremely common because as youre horizontal for several hours, excess water tends to settle there. Bad/not enough sleep is one reason for puffy eyes, but it isn't the only one. Allergies, sinus problems, dust and pollution can increase inflammation and water retention around the eyes. Smoke, too much heat or air conditioning, and eye strain (including reading in the dark, staring at a computer all day, and being in lights that are too bright) are all guilty parties toothings that make your eyes water! Some medications can cause eye puffiness because they affect the natural balance of water in the system, be it dehydration or water retention. It might seem counter-intuitive to think of dehydration as a cause of puffiness, but when were dehydrated, our bodies actually start to preserve the water that we do have, and our eye sockets are a place where we hold extra water. A fluctuation in the bodys hormones, blood sugar, or hemoglobin can all be attributed to puffy eyes too. Our bodie Continue reading >>

Kidney Conditions

Kidney Conditions

Diabetic Nephropathy: The #1 cause of kidney failure is diabetes. Kidney damage develops in about 20% of patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Problems start after 10-15 years of diabetes, and the kidney problems are usually seen in patients with diabetic eye disease. Poor control of blood glucose and high blood pressure are factors that lead to this problem, and make it worse once it starts. Recent work has shown that lowering blood pressure, particularly using ACE Inhibitors or ARBs at the earliest stages, can have a major impact on reducing the progression of kidney disease. Edema: Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues (fluid retention). Edema may be generalized or local. Swelling caused by edema commonly occurs in the hands, arms, ankles, legs and feet. It can appear suddenly, but usually develops subtly. You may first gain weight, or wake up with puffy eyes. Damage to the kidneys can cause decreased levels of protein in your blood. This can contribute to capillary leaking and swelling. The edema associated with kidney disease usually occurs in your legs and around your eyes. Many patients wait until symptoms are well advanced before seeking medical help. Nephrotic Syndrome: Nephrotic Syndrome is not a single underlying disease, but develops alongside other processes such as glomerulonephritis or diabetes. The kidneys pass large amounts of protein (the urine may be “frothy”) into the urine and this means the water in the blood stream passes into the tissues, particularly the feet and around the eyes. Usually it is caused by a glomerulonephritis such as minimal change nephropathy (the most common in children) or membranous glomerulonephritis. The kidney function may be absolutely normal and the only problem is the prote Continue reading >>

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes Complications

Diabetes can lead to many complications in the human body. Diabetes will not only affect a person's blood sugar, but it can affect other important body functions and organs. People who have diabetes may be more at risk for developing complications or diseases. It is important to follow recommendations from a physician or other diabetes health specialist to prevent or treat diabetes complications such as diabetic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy or other vision complications, erectile dysfunction, and hypoglycemia. Diabetic Neuropathy Diabetes can also cause extreme nerve damage in the body. Diabetic Neuropathies are a "family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes". Diabetic patients can develop nerve problems in their feet, legs, arms and hands at any point in their life. The nerve damage is most likely due to metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, nerve injury, neurovascular factors which affect blood vessels carrying oxygen to the nerves, as well as lifestyle factors and genetics. Although the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies start as a minor problem, they can grow to be extremely severe later on in life. Some symptoms include numbness in the body’s extremities, indigestion, diarrhea, erectile dysfunction and overall weakness of the body. Diabetic neuropathy is broken down into four classifications. 1. Peripheral neuropathy causes the loss of sensation in the body’s extremities. Numbness, loss of balance, and sharp pains can occur most commonly in the legs and feet. 2. Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves that control the heart, as well as other internal organs such as bladder and bowel functions, digestion, perspiration and can also cause hypoglycemia. 3. Proximal neuropathy is most common in type 2 diabetes patients and affects the lower part of the Continue reading >>

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