diabetestalk.net

Is Vision Loss From Diabetes Reversible?

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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy - Treatment Overview

Diabetic Retinopathy - Treatment Overview

There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy. But laser treatment (photocoagulation) is usually very effective at preventing vision loss if it is done before the retina has been severely damaged. Surgical removal of the vitreous gel (vitrectomy) may also help improve vision if the retina has not been severely damaged. Sometimes injections of an anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) medicine or an anti-inflammatory medicine help to shrink new blood vessels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Because symptoms may not develop until the disease becomes severe, early detection through regular screening is important. The earlier retinopathy is detected, the easier it is to treat and the more likely vision will be preserved. You may need treatment for diabetic retinopathy if: It has affected the center (macula) of the retina. Abnormal new blood vessels have started to appear. Your side (peripheral) vision has been severely damaged. If the macula has been damaged by macular edema, anti-VEGF medicine, such as Lucentis, may help. Steroids may be injected into the eye. Sometimes an implant, such as Iluvien, may be placed in the eye to release a small amount of corticosteroid over time. If the retina hasn't been severely damaged, laser treatment or vitrectomy may help with macular edema. Surgical removal of the vitreous gel (vitrectomy) is done when there is bleeding (vitreous hemorrhage) or retinal detachment, which are rare in people with early-stage retinopathy. Vitrectomy is also done when severe scar tissue has formed. Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is often very effective in preventing, delaying, or reducing vision loss. But it is not a cure for the disease. People who have been treated for diabetic retinopathy need to be monitored frequently by an eye doctor to Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&a

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&a

Q&A Menu To find the Q&As most helpful to you, please click on one of these subjects: How Does Diabetes Affect Eyes? Q: How does diabetes affect your eyes? — L.L., Connecticut A: Diabetes causes problems in the retina with what are collectively called microvascular abnormalities. The small blood vessels develop microaneurysms and leak blood. New blood vessel growth (neovascularization) occurs. Unfortunately, these blood vessels are weak and also leak. These leaks (hemorrhages) can cause irreversible damage to the retina and permanent vision loss. Patients with controlled diabetes do better than those with uncontrolled diabetes. However, even a person whose diabetes is under perfect control can still develop diabetic retinopathy — hence, the need for yearly retinal exams. — Dr. Slonim Q: Does diabetic retinopathy get progressively worse? — F.R. A: Yes. When left unrecognized and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can even get worse despite use of the best treatments that currently exist for it. — Dr. Slonim Q: My father has type 2 diabetes and he is seeing double. We went to the hospital about a week ago and they said the diabetes had affected a nerve on the right eye. Can medicine get his sight back to normal? — W.C. A: Diabetes can affect any one of the three cranial nerves that are responsible for movement of the eyes. Diabetes is one of the more common conditions associated with sixth nerve (Abducens nerve) palsies. Paralysis of this nerve affects the lateral rectus muscle that allows the eye to look outward. There is no specific medicine for this. The paralysis can be temporary and last a few months or it can be permanent. — Dr. Slonim Q: Can diabetes cause you to have eye infections suc Continue reading >>

Vision Loss Caused By Diabetes Is Now Reversible

Vision Loss Caused By Diabetes Is Now Reversible

New York, Feb 19: A prescription drug commonly used to treat age-related vision loss also reverses vision loss caused by diabetes, says a study led by an Indian-origin physician. The drug, Ranibizumab is manufactured and marketed by US-based Genentech Inc. under the trade name Lucentis. ‘We found that Ranibizumab can save the sight of thousands of working-age individuals suffering from diabetic eye disease, as standard treatments such as laser are not as effective,’ said lead author Rohit Varma, director of the University of Southern California (USC) Eye Institute. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are the leading causes of vision loss in working-age adults in the United States, according to the National Eye Institute. Varma’s team developed a population-based model that suggests that administering 0.3 milligrams of ranibizumab every four weeks to patients with diabetic macular edema would reduce the number of cases of vision impairment by 45 percent, or 5,134 individuals, and the number of cases of legal blindness by 75 percent, or 1,275 individuals. (Read: World Diabetes Day 2014: Why early detection of diabetes is good for your eyes) The model was based on the approximately 37,000 adults with diabetic macular edema in the US for whom ranibizumab treatment could be used. The study supported in part by Genentech Inc appeared in the online edition of the journal Ophthalmology. (Read:Beware – diabetes can make you go blind!) Here are few tips from Dr Vandana Jain to prevent diabetes and its allied eye problems. Get regular eye check-ups: Most people suffering from diabetes check their blood sugar levels regularly and may even get kidney and heart tests done at least once in a year, but they somehow forget about eye-check-ups. If you suffer from blur Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy: Your Questions Answered

Diabetic Retinopathy: Your Questions Answered

Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and the leading cause of new-onset blindness in American adults. Effective treatments are available to preserve vision for eyes at risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. The most opportune time for these treatments is before any vision has been lost, since even advanced diabetic retinopathy can be present when a person has no vision complaints or problems. What causes diabetic retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, the thin, light-sensitive inner lining in the back of your eye. These changes are called diabetic retinopathy. How does diabetes damage the vessels in the retina? Elevated levels of blood glucose can damage the body in various ways, including harming the blood vessels in your eyes. Diabetes can affect the lining of the blood vessels in your eyes, causing them to thicken and develop leaks. Poor circulation in the retinal vessels can compound these problems by causing the production of fragile new vessels. What are the stages of retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is broadly classified as nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy. After 20 years of diabetes, most persons with diabetes will shows some signs of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, which is generally not sight-threatening itself unless macular edema is present. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more serious stage of retinopathy and poses a greater risk of hemorrhage into the vitreous humor, the clear gel that fills the center of the eye, or detachment of the retina leading to severe vision loss. Diabetic macular edema can occur with either nonproliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy. There are various levels of nonproliferative diabetic re Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Print Overview Diabetic retinopathy (die-uh-BET-ik ret-ih-NOP-uh-thee) is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication. Symptoms You might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include: Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters) Blurred vision Fluctuating vision Impaired color vision Dark or empty areas in your vision Vision loss Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. When to see a doctor Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you're pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy. Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy. Causes Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But these new blood vessels don't develop properly and can leak easily. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: Early diabetic retinopathy. In this more common form — called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Overview Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight. To minimise the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should: ensure they control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol attend diabetic eye screening appointments – annual screening is offered to all people with diabetes aged 12 and over to pick up and treat any problems early on How diabetes can affect the eyes The retina is the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals. The signals are sent to the brain and the brain turns them into the images you see. The retina needs a constant supply of blood, which it receives through a network of tiny blood vessels. Over time, a persistently high blood sugar level can damage these blood vessels in three main stages: tiny bulges develop in the blood vessels, which may bleed slightly but don’t usually affect your vision – this is known as background retinopathy more severe and widespread changes affect the blood vessels, including more significant bleeding into the eye – this is known as pre-proliferative retinopathy scar tissue and new blood vessels, which are weak and bleed easily, develop on the retina – this is known as proliferative retinopathy and it can result in some loss of vision However, if a problem with your eyes is picked up early, lifestyle changes and/or treatment can stop it getting worse. Read about the stages of diabetic retinopathy. Am I at risk of diabetic retinopathy? Anyone with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes i Continue reading >>

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

A A A Do I need to follow-up with my doctor after being diagnosed with diabetic eye disease? Diabetes is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide, and, in the United States, it is the most common cause of blindness in people younger than 65 years of age. Diabetic eye disease also encompasses a wide range of other eye problems, for example, Diabetes may cause a reversible, temporary blurring of the vision, or it can cause a severe, permanent loss of vision. Some people may not even realize they have had diabetes for several years until they begin to experience problems with their eyes or vision. Diabetes also may result in heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and circulatory abnormalities of the legs. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 8.1 million people additional people went undiagnosed. (This population is unaware that they have diabetes.) In the United States 1.2 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year. In the US in 2012, the total annual cost of diagnosed diabetes was 2.45 billion. Eighty-six million people in the US have prediabetes, and 9 out of every 10 don't know they have it. Of the 86 million people with prediabetes, without lifestyle changes 15% to 30% of them will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Lifestyle management has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes by at least two-thirds. It can also slow or halt the progression of prediabetes to diabetes. People can try to avoid the problems associated with diabetes, including those that affect the eyes, by taking appropriate care of themselves by the following: Maintain a normal level of weight Watch your diet, especially limiting unhealthy types of fats and Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Eyes — More Than Retinopathy

Diabetes And Your Eyes — More Than Retinopathy

You probably know that eye damage (retinopathy) is a major complication of diabetes. So when vision blurs, it’s normal to think the worst. But diabetes can cause blurred vision in several other ways, some of which are reversible. I’m embarrassed to admit I only recently found out that blurred vision is a symptom of diabetes, even without any retinal damage. When blood glucose levels go up, blood gets thicker. Thicker blood pulls in more fluid from surrounding tissues, including the lenses of the eye, impacting the ability to focus. -- Keep an eye on your vision! Learn about preventive steps and treatments for diabetic retinopathy from retinal specialist Dr. Charles Wykoff. >> Blood sugar and blurry vision According to WebMD, [Blurred vision] could just be a temporary problem that develops rapidly and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. Changing the shape of the lens naturally throws off vision. This can be a chronic, 24/7 kind of problem, or it can occur only after a high-carb meal, when glucose is way up. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide says that after-meal blurriness can be prevented by avoiding high-carb meals. The cure for chronic, all-the-time blurriness is to get blood glucose down to normal range before meals. It may take as long three months of relatively normal blood glucose levels before vision returns to your baseline normal. Diabetes can also cause blurriness or double vision due to hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). In this case, lens shape is probably not to blame. Low blood glucose can make it hard for the brain to focus on what the eye is seeing. Vision usually returns to normal when glucose levels rise. If blurriness doesn’t go away when glucos Continue reading >>

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed?

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed?

Sindre, you are confronting something very difficult. I have had type 1 diabetes for over 40 years as well. My experience might be helpful. I learned to not assign the role of primary care giver to my doctors some 36 years ago when I came across an article in the Journal of Chronic Disease on the correlation of tight control and the side effects of diabetes. The article excited me because it showed me that there was something I could do about the problems of diabetes. However, it also infuriated me that my doctors had never told me about any such thing as a side effect. (We did have an animated discussion after that.) Then a few years later in the late 70s I was one of the participants in a study on the use of an insulin pump and in home blood testing. The pump was the size of a brick and I had to go to a saddle maker to have a holster made for it. In that small study one of the participants saw a dramatic reduction in his very advanced diabetic neuropathy. So good control is critical and that was the first I had known about the possibility of reversal of the “irreversable”. This tool gave me the power to do something about my condition to keep it from being a disease. So to this day I have no side effects of diabetes. My opthamologist told me a few years ago that he had never seen a diabetic beyond 10 years with no retinopathy. OK now for what this has to do with your father’s situation is this; I became my own primary care giver when I found that the doctors were going to prescribe a progression of drugs on top of the insulin without looking for any cure. No I do not expect the T1 diabetes to be reversed by diet but the disease portion of diabetes such as enhanced coronary artery disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, renal failure et al are preventable and reversibl Continue reading >>

Reversing My Diabetic Retinopathy

Reversing My Diabetic Retinopathy

Sarah, also known as Sugabetic in the diabetes community, has lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 27 years! A long time. She’s a wife, a mother of two healthy kiddos, and one the best people to ask when it comes to weighing the differences between different insulin pumps, glucose meters, and CGMs…because she’s tried them all! In 2014, Sarah was diagnosed with “mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR).” In a nutshell, NPDR is the milder form of PDR, which is the more severe progression of diabetic retinopathy. Both NPDR and PDR are eye conditions diagnosed when blood vessels within the retina have “changed,” explains the diabetic eye doctor: Normal retinal blood vessels are watertight and do not leak. In diabetes, the retinal blood vessels can become damaged and develop tiny leaks. This is called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). Blood and fluid seep from the leaks in the damaged retinal blood vessels, and fatty material (called exudate) can deposit in the retina. This causes swelling of the retina. When leakage occurs and causes swelling in the central part of the retina (the macula), it is called macular edema, and vision will be reduced or blurred. Leakage elsewhere in the retina will usually have no effect on vision. For people with diabetes, retinopathy can occur as a result of high blood sugars over the years or it can also occur in a person who has maintained very normal blood sugar levels but simply has a predisposition to developing retinopathy or other diabetes complications. Thanks to major developments and leaps forward in today’s medical technology, people with diabetes who catch the signs of NPDR early enough are presented with a tremendous opportunity: treatments that can actually reverse the damage that has occurred Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Blurry Vision: What You Need To Know

Diabetes And Blurry Vision: What You Need To Know

Diabetes and blurry vision Diabetes refers to a complex metabolic disease in which your body either can’t produce insulin, doesn’t produce enough insulin, or simply can’t use it efficiently. All your body’s cells need sugar (glucose) for energy. Insulin helps to break down and deliver sugar to cells throughout your body. Sugar levels build up in your blood if you don’t have enough insulin to break it down. This is known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can negatively affect every part of your body, including your eyes. Blurry vision is often one of the first warning signs of diabetes. Your vision may be blurry because fluid is leaking into the lens of your eye. This makes the lens swell and change shape. Those changes make it hard for your eyes to focus, so things start to look fuzzy. You may also get blurred vision when you start insulin treatment. This is due to shifting fluids, but it generally resolves after a few weeks. For many people, as blood sugar levels stabilize, so does their vision. How can diabetes cause blurry vision? Diabetic retinopathy is a term that describes retinal disorders caused by diabetes. Some of these disorders include macular edema and proliferative retinopathy. Macular edema is when the macula swells due to leaking fluid. The macula is the part of the retina that gives you sharp central vision. Other symptoms of macular edema include wavy vision and color changes. Proliferative retinopathy is when blood vessels leak into the center of your eye. Blurry vision is one of the signs that this is happening. You may also experience spots or floaters, or have trouble with night vision. Blurry vision can also be a symptom of glaucoma, a disease in which pressure in your eye damages the optic nerve. According to the National Eye Institute, i 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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetes interferes with the body's ability to use and store sugar (glucose). The disease is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: Seeing spots or floaters Blurred vision Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision Difficulty seeing well at night When people with diabetes experience long periods of high blood sugar, fluid can accumulate in the lens inside the eye that controls focusing. This changes the curvature of the lens, leading to blurred vision. However, once blood sugar levels are controlled, blurred distance vision will improve. Patients with diabetes who can better control their blood sugar levels will slow the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Often the early stages of diabetic retinopathy have no visual symptoms. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. T Continue reading >>

Blurry Vision And Other Symptoms Of Diabetes - Retina Specialist | Fairfax, Virginia | Retinal Diseases

Blurry Vision And Other Symptoms Of Diabetes - Retina Specialist | Fairfax, Virginia | Retinal Diseases

Blurry Vision and Other Symptoms of Diabetes Blurry vision is a common symptom of diabetes . Other diabetic symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and fatigue. Most of the symptoms are due to the lack of insulin which secondarily allows the sugar levels to sky rocket out of control. This sets up sugar gradients that cause imbalances in water distribution in the body and in different organs. One note, the blurry vision as a symptom of diabetes is not caused by the same mechanism as blurry vision from diabetic retinopathy . The fancy term for this concept is osmolarity. One way to think of osmolarity is that sugar attracts water, or, water goes where the sugar goes. Insulin Takes Sugar From the Blood and Delivers it to Your Cells When we eat, food is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. The sugars, the little energy units that serve as fuel for our cells, can not get into the cells without insulin. Stated another way, insulin lowers blood sugar. When the supply of insulin is insufficient, as in diabetes, sugar levels in the blood rise. Remember the law of osmolarity, if the sugar stays in the blood, it draws water out and away from your cells and into the bloodstream. Your body becomes dehydrated as the water is drawn into the blood stream. This is a relative increase in the fluid volume of the blood, the kidneys then make moreurine. The relative dehydration also explains the excessive thirst. The frequent urination, and especially, frequent urination at night, are very common symptoms of diabetes. Since the high sugar levels are constantly drawing water out from the cells, the body is constantly dehydrated causing extreme thirst. There are two reasons for the weight loss. One cause is the loss of water weight caused by the frequent Continue reading >>

More in diabetes