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Reverse Diabetic Eye Damage

Background Diabetic Retinopathy

Background Diabetic Retinopathy

Introduction This is the term used when there is mild damage to the retina from diabetes. The tiny blood vessels in the retina, the capillaries, become damaged, Blood vessel damage is generally visible on photographs. In the UK, nearly every person with diabetes should have yearly photos taken. In Birmingham these are taken by about 40 optometrists across the city, but in other places technicians take the photos, often with mobile cameras. The photographs are examined by the optometrist or photographer, and patients with significant damage are referred to hospital clinics. Your pupils have to be dilated for this examination, and you are often advised not to drive until the pupils have returned to their normal size. See What the doctor sees A doctor or optometrist may see 'dots' and 'blots'. The dots are some capillaries that have enlarged, that is the the tiny blood vessels enlarge to form microaneurysms. See photo tour and photo and photo. The blots are tiny haemorrhages, that is tiny spots of blood, on the surface of the retina. There are also leaky areas, called exudates. See photo. What does it mean if you have 'background retinopathy'? The number of microaneurysms, the little red dots the doctor sees, indicate the likelihood of more severe problems in the years to come. See photo. As the damage is mild at this stage, your sight will be nearly perfect. However, the condition does progress. It occasionally progresses quickly, but usually changes slowly. If your diabetes and blood pressure are well controlled, and have been all the time you have had diabetes, changes should be very slow (prevention) are controlled. Unfortunately for many people with diabetes the retinal damage increases, and maculopathy or proliferative retinopathy develop over a few years. Background Continue reading >>

Diabetic Blindness Could Be Reversed With Eye Injection

Diabetic Blindness Could Be Reversed With Eye Injection

Diabetic blindness could be reversed with eye injection The chemical, called AAQ, works by making normally 'blind' cells in the retina sensitive to light Injecting the drug ranibizumab into the eyes of diabetics improved their sight and prevented further deterioration Diabetics blinded by the disease have been offered new hope afters scientists unveiled the first new treatment in 40 years. Researchers said that injections of the drug ranibizumab improved sight when compared to traditional treatments for people with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). The disorder occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the cells at the back of the eye. If it isn't treated, it can cause blindness. PDR is a leading cause of vision loss in patients with diabetes and the standard treatment has been laser surgery which can result in loss of peripheral vision and difficult seeing at night. However the new treatment allowed patients to keep their peripheral vision while improving central sight so they could see eye charts more accurately and read half a line more, on average. "This important study represents a major step forward for patients with PDR by providing the ophthalmologists who manage their retinal disease with new options," said Dr Timothy Olsen, of Emory University, Atlanta. The injections would need to take place once a month for three months. The number of adults with diabetes has risen more than 65 per cent since 2005, with more people than ever at risk of blindness. Most diabetics will end of with some kind of eye problem because they have too much sugar in their blood Alamy Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK. It is estimated that there are 4,200 people in England who are blind due to diabetic retinopathy. Within 20 years of Continue reading >>

Vision Loss Reversed In People With Diabetic Eye Disease

Vision Loss Reversed In People With Diabetic Eye Disease

Ranibizumab, a prescription drug commonly used to treat age-related vision loss, also reverses vision loss caused by diabetes among Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, according to a new study led by investigators from the 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. Laser surgery is the standard treatment for advanced stages of the disease, characterized by blurred vision, but previous research has shown that only 30 percent of patients saw improvement in their vision. “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 Rohit Varma, director of the USC Eye Institute, professor and chair of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the study’s lead author. Varma’s team developed a population-based model suggesting 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. The model was based on the approximately 37,000 Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adults with diabetic macular edema in the United States for whom ranibizumab treatment could be used. Because other race and ethnic groups were not included in the study, authors contend that the treatment may benefit even more people than their results show. Ranibizumab is manufactured and marketed by Genentech Inc. under the trade name Lucentis. The study, which was supported in part by Genentech Inc., appears in 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 >>

Questions / Comments: Please Include Non-medical Questions And Correspondence Only.

Questions / Comments: Please Include Non-medical Questions And Correspondence Only.

Diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of new cases of legal blindness in working age Americans. It is estimated that 14 million Americans have diabetes, but that only one half of these are aware of it. This page discusses ocular complications of diabetes, and their treatment. These sections are not intended to replace the professional examination and diagnosis by a physician, and they are presented here purely for informational purposes. All possible diagnoses and treatment options are not covered, and the information discussed should not be taken as a recommendation to self-diagnose and self-treat a condition. A misdiagnosed or improperly treated eye condition can result in a permanent loss of vision, or a permanent loss of function of the eye or visual system. In the case of any eye problem, seek medical attention promptly. This can include emergency room treatment, as well as treatment by a medical physician or eyecare provider. The doctors of Richmond Eye Associates perform extensive comprehensive eye examinations to check for all possible ocular complications of diabetes mellitus. The most common specific ocular complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which can even occur in patients who have diet controlled diabetes and "pre-diabetes". Diabetic retinopathy can treated and reversed, especially if caught in the early stages, so it is generally recommended for diabetics to have a dilated comprehensive eye examination annually. Diabetes can also increase the risk for other ocular conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. These will be screened for at the time of the comprehensive diabetic eye examination as well. Ancillary testing such as fundus photography and optical coherence tomography may also be used when indicated at the time of the examination Diab Continue reading >>

Diabetic Blindness - Retinopathy

Diabetic Blindness - Retinopathy

Retinopathy means "sick retina" and it is among the most terrifying of diabetic complications. What happens in retinopathy is that, with continual exposure to high blood sugars, tiny blood vessels start to grow in a disordered and out of control fashion in the retina--the part of the eye where nerves transmit light images to the brain. Unlike healthy vessels, these diabetic blood vessels have weak walls, and eventually they burst, releasing blood into the eye. Not only that, but if they are left untreated, these overgrown vessels eventually destroy the retina's ability to transmit images to the brain, resulting in permanent blindness. There are various terms doctors use to refer to retinopathy. One is "proliferative retinopathy" referring to the way that the tiny blood vessels proliferate. Another is "macular edema" referring to swelling in the part of the retina that gives us central vision. Actos and Avandia have been found to cause an increase in macular edema which is a major reason they are probably the last drug anyone with diabetes should be taking. Doctors currently treat retinopathy by using lasers to zap shut bleeding or swollen blood vessels in the eye. This helps retain vision, though it cannot restore vision that has been lost. Over time if blood sugars continue to be high--200 mg/dl (11 mmol/l) or more-- vision will deteriorate despite with this treatment. The only way to reverse retinopathy is to get blood sugars down to truly normal levels--not the levels flagged as "good for diabetics" but normal levels. That is because recent research has found retinopathic changes happening in the eyes of 1 out of ever 12 people diagnosed with prediabetes, so just getting your blood sugars to the mediocre levels most doctors suggest for people with diabetes (well with 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetes Sufferers Could Reverse Blindness With New Drug

Diabetes Sufferers Could Reverse Blindness With New Drug

In rare cases of uncontrolled diabetes, sufferers can turn blind. One the most common forms of diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy. It’s caused by having higher than normal levels of blood glucose for a long period of time which can damage the small blood vessels within the retina. These are the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye that converts light into signals for the brain. Until recently, there’s been no way to reverse it. However, a drug has just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat all forms of the diabetic eye disease. Previously the drug, Lucentis, had been available for use in the US to manage patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), and was given the go-ahead for its use in the UK in 2013. Now it can be used to treat diabetic retinopathy in patients with or without DME. Fri, August 19, 2016 Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 500,000 who are living undiagnosed with the condition. Sandra Horning, chief medical officer and head global product development at Genentech, the developers of Lucentis, said: "Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss among working-aged adults in the US between the ages of 20 and 74. “We are very pleased that Lucentis is now FDA-approved to treat retinopathy in people with and without DME.” Currently the main way to treat the condition is with laser eye surgery, which works by preventing fresh blood vessel growth and improving the nutrient and oxygen supply to the retina. Prior to the FDA’s approval, research compared Lucentis directly with laser surgery. In the study, the drug was shown to significantly improve diabetic retinopathy among the 300 patients who trialled Continue reading >>

Eye Damage With Diabetes

Eye Damage With Diabetes

Diabetes that isn't under control can damage your eyes. These are types of eye damage that can occur with diabetes. Swelling of the Eye Lens Blurred vision is a common sign of diabetes that isn't under control. When blood sugar levels are high for a long time, body water is pulled into the lens, causing it to swell. It will take about six weeks, after getting blood sugar levels closer to normal, for the swelling to go away completely. People with diabetes shouldn't get new glasses or contacts until their blood sugar levels have been under good control for at least two months. If you get new glasses or contacts before the swelling goes down, the prescription will fit the swollen eye lens. After the swelling is gone, the prescription won't work any more. Weakened Blood Vessels Even though blurred vision is a sign that something is wrong with the lens of the eye, the worst damage happens to the blood vessels in the retina, in the back of the eye. After many years of high blood sugar levels, the walls of the blood vessels in the retina become weak and thin. The weak areas can bulge out and form pouches called micro-aneurysms. These weak, thinning areas can leak a fatty protein called exudate. If exudate leaks into the center of the retina, in an area called the macula, it will cause swelling, making it hard to see. When this condition goes untreated, it causes changes in your vision that can be permanent. Damage to the Retina Damage can sometimes go unnoticed until it leads to serious vision problems. This damage is called retinopathy, which means disease of the retina. Blood can leak out of the weak blood vessels in the retina and cause hemorrhages, called early diabetes retinopathy or background diabetes retinopathy. The hemorrhages get worse if blood vessels in the eye b Continue reading >>

Reversing Diabetic Blindness With Diet

Reversing Diabetic Blindness With Diet

Though many reported feeling better on Dr. Walter Kempner’s rice and fruit diet, he refused to accept such anecdotal evidence as proof of success. He wanted objective measurements. The most famous were his “eyegrounds photographs,” taken with a special camera that allowed one to visualize the back of the eye. In doing so, he proved diet can arrest the bleeding, oozing, and swelling you see in the back of the eye in people with severe kidney, hypertensive, or heart disease. Even more than that, he proved that diet could actually reverse it, something never thought possible. In my video, Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed?, you can see before and after images of the back of patients’ eyes. He found reversal to such a degree that even those who could no longer distinguish large objects were able to once again read fine print. Dr. Kempner had shown a reversal of blindness with diet. The results were so dramatic that the head of the department of ophthalmology at Duke, where Kempner worked, was questioned as to whether they were somehow faked. He assured them they were not. In fact, he wrote in one person’s chart, “This patient’s eyegrounds are improved to an unbelievable degree.” Not only had he never seen anything like it, he couldn’t remember ever seeing a patient with such advanced disease even being alive 15 months later. The magnitude of the improvements Kempner got—reversal of end-stage heart and kidney failure—was surprising, simply beyond belief. But as Kempner said as his closing sentence of a presentation before the American College of Physicians, “The important result is not that the change in the course of the disease has been achieved by the rice diet but that the course of the disease can be changed.” Now that we have high blood pre 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 >>

A Whole Food Plant-based Diet Can Help Diabetic Retinopathy

A Whole Food Plant-based Diet Can Help Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults in the United States. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels the bring nutrients to the eye become damaged and leak blood and other fluids into the eye. This results in inflammation of the retinal tissue and cloudy vision. Modern intervention for diabetic retinopathy consisted of multiple insulin shots a day. Today steroids and other drugs or injected into the eyeballs, and this is for a treatment that only slows the progression of the disease. In the 1950’s Dr. Kempner was able to reverse the disease[1][2] and not just slow its progression. His accomplishments accomplishments went largely ignored though. The data supported Kempner was able to reverse the disease by simply putting his patients on a whole food plant-based diet consisting of rice and fruit. Patients whose disease was so severe and weren’t able to read, were able to read fine print after switching to the diet. Kempner was able to prove he was able to reverse the disease.[3] Kempner was able to greatly improve the vision and reverse the disease of 30% of his patients simple by having them eat a plant-based diet based on rice. Sources: [1] W Kempler. Compensation of renal metabolic dysfunction. N. Car Med Jour. 1945 Feb 6(2)61 – 87. [2] W Kempler. The Treatment of Retinopathy in Kidney Disease and Hypertensive and Arteriosclerotic Vascular Disease with the Rice Diet. 1951 Revista doos Tribunais. [3] W Kempner, R L Peschel, C Schlayer. Effect of rice diet on diabetes mellitus associated with vascular disease. Postgrad Med. 1958 Oct;24(4):359-71. Continue reading >>

12 Natural Tips For Diabetic Retinopathy Prevention & Management

12 Natural Tips For Diabetic Retinopathy Prevention & Management

by Katherine Brind’Amour, PhD Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can affect people with any form of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes. The condition is caused when blood sugar and blood pressure in the tiny blood vessels in the eye “spring a leak” and release blood into the eye. This leads to blurry vision, seeing floaters or even complete vision loss in severe cases. The tricky thing about diabetic retinopathy is that not everyone has symptoms right away. Many people may have some damage from this condition without realizing the cause, and still others may attribute the vision problem to something else, such as getting older. As many as 45 percent of the 29 million Americans with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and half of them may not even know it. (1, 2) The good news is that people with diabetes can prevent or delay diabetic retinopathy through a variety of natural approaches. And if the disease does begin, there are natural ways to manage the condition and keep it from getting worse. The bad news? It requires long-term effort, since vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is a lifelong risk for people with diabetes. What Is Diabetic Retinopathy? To define diabetic retinopathy, you first have to understand diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body has difficulty making or using sugar (glucose). This leads to periods of high or low blood sugar, which can make it hard for the rest of the body to function at times. In diabetic retinopathy, high blood sugar starts to damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which is part of the eye. The blood vessels may close or swell and leak. (3) The eye may also start to grow new blood vessels. These changes in blood vessel health eventually cause changes in vision. (4) Ther 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 >>

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