Visioncall understands that various conditions and issues can strike when it comes to eye health, and many of them are associated with our daily lifestyle.
One lesser-known condition that is directly affected by overall health and wellbeing is diabetic retinopathy.
This week marks Diabetes Awareness Week. We want to use this occasion to highlight diabetic retinopathy, affecting thousands of people living with Diabetes across the UK every year.
But what is this condition, and how is treated?
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition related to Diabetes, which affects the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to become blocked, leak or grows haphazardly.
This can lead to black spots or gaps in the vision and even sight loss if left untreated.
The condition can affect anyone with type 1 or 2 diabetes, whether they’re being treated with insulin, tablets, or diet.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood pressure and blood sugar levels are always high.
What is it like?
Diabetic retinopathy generally has no noticeable symptoms until it’s advanced.
It’s essential to attend regular sight tests and annual diabetic eye screenings for this reason, as screenings can pick up early signs of the condition and aid in early diagnosis and treatment.
There are some symptoms that diabetic retinopathy sufferers may experience, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the condition is present. However, anyone experiencing any of the below symptoms should immediately seek advice from their GP:
– Gradually worsening vision
– A sudden loss of vision
– Blurred or patchy vision
– Redness of the eyes
– Eye pain
How can it be treated?
It’s crucial to keep Diabetes under control, both in the early stages, to prevent the issue from developing and in the more advanced stages, to stop it from worsening.
For advanced diabetic retinopathy affecting the sight, laser treatment can stabilise the retina and leak blood vessels.
People living with Diabetes can reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or prevent the issue from worsening by following some essential practices.
People living with Diabetes should control their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and take diabetes medication as prescribed.
It’s essential to attend any screening appointments when invited and ensure that advice is sought if there are any changes to the vision.
One of the best things people with Diabetes can do for their health is to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking.
To find out more about diabetic retinopathy and eye health, visit our eye health troubleshooter.
If you are concerned about changes in your vision and eye health or a resident or relative, please don’t hesitate to contact Visioncall for guidance.