Diabetes is a common disease found in most of the people in today’s time. In the United States, approximately 30 million people live with diabetes. And it is found that nearly 7.7 people suffer from diabetic retinopathy. It is the common cause of vision loss in people today.
It has drastically increased in the last 2 decades. Having diabetes in itself is a big problem and as the sugar intake increases, it becomes more harmful. Diabetes in the initial stage can be maintained and fully cured. But if it is not controlled then it drastically affects human health in numerous ways. One needs to take regular medicines and insulin to keep diabetes under control.
How does it affect?
Energy is required by the retina to sense light, which is dependent on the oxygen which is supplied by blood circulating through blood vessels. But in diabetes, high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels of the retina. Because of these damaged blood vessels fluid leaks, bleed, and adequate oxygen is not provided to the retina following retinal ischemia.
This leads retinal cells to die and the retina does not function properly. Along with this, diabetes harms the neurons of the retina directly. Both of these effects cause diabetic retinopathy.
In the advanced diabetic retinopathy, irregular blood vessels have formed that lead to bleeding inside the eye and causing a rapid loss of vision. Initially, it will be a curtain-like vision loss as blood fills up inside the eye. And the further worsening of the advanced diabetic retinopathy may lead to retinal detachment. This needs to be intervened with immediate surgery or it will result in permanent and irreversible loss of vision. It should be treated promptly.
How to prevent diabetic retinopathy?
There are different levels to measure blood sugar one such is A1c level it is blood sugar level over the previous 2 to 3 months. Experts recommend keeping this level below 7% to avoid the risk of complications. Breathing exercises (mindful meditation/ Pranayama) like Kapal Bhati, anulom vilom can stimulate insulin release from the pancreas and help control diabetes. Yogic poses such as twisting poses like Markat asana, vriksha asana etc are also useful in controlling the diabetes.
Blood glucose directly damages retina blood vessels. Strong epidemiological evidence is present that blood sugar control translates to decreased incidence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. It is recommended to maintain normal blood pressure to reduce the cardiovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes. This includes retinopathy, kidney disease known as nephropathy, and nerve damage known as neuropathy.
It is also advocated to control cholesterol for overall diabetes management. But it is not sure that it will help to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
There are medications that can subsequently improve the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. These are injected straight into the eye to improve diabetic macular edema and the severity of diabetic retinopathy.
In many people, the steroid injected leads to improvement of diabetic macular edema. In advanced retinopathy, patients may need retinal laser therapy or retinal surgery to stop bleeding and leakage. It is also done to shrink damaged blood vessels and to remove blood and scar tissue. The diabetic retinopathy surgery is done superbly at IClinix.