Diabetes and vision: how to avoid retinopathy

Diabetes and vision: how to avoid retinopathy

If a patient is diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM), everything possible must be done to prevent the development of ocular pathologies that are a serious complication of the disease.

Some facts and facts about diabetes and vision

  • The World Health Organization says about the increase in the incidence of this pathology to 7.5% and an increase in the total number of victims by 4 times, compared with 1980
  • According to statistics from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, in 2015, over 4 million Russians were diagnosed with sugar   diabetes.
  • According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is diagnosed for the first time every year in 12-24 thousand people. The disease is responsible for 8% of total vision loss in the United States. That it is the main cause of blindness acquired in age from 20 to 74 years.

One of the pathologies of vision reflects in its name the close connection between the fact that the patient’s blood is distinguished by a high level of glucose and eye pathology. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a comprehensive term that refers to retinal damage in diabetes.

  • It is the most common complication of type 2 diabetes, currently.
  • It is registered with over 4.1 million Americans aged 40 and older.
  • Up to 21 percent of US citizens with type 2 diabetes already have DR, by the time they get the diagnosis.
  • It develops in almost 100% of people with type 1 disease and in more than 70% with type 2 pathology, according to a special report by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Nearly 900,000 Americans currently have diabetic retinopathy, strong enough to cause absolute loss of vision.
  • In Russia, according to the results of the monitoring conducted in 2008 within the framework of the “Diabetes mellitus” program, DR was recorded in 45.8% of all patients with diabetes.

Experts believe that annual screening for diabetic retinopathy and reduced risk factors will help reduce the likelihood of blindness caused by the disease. Listen to tips from the popular medical portal MedAboutMe to save your eyesight.

Monitor blood glucose

If a   human blood   supersaturated with sugar, it is about hyperglycemia, which is the leading cause of DR.

It is necessary to keep the glucose level within certain limits so that the blood has a normal composition. In this case, it will be possible to minimize damage during retinopathy and slow its progression.

According to a survey conducted by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was attended by 15,000 people with diabetes, less than 45% of them checked sugar levels daily.

Without regular monitoring and adequate therapy, the clinical picture with DR naturally worsens.

Correct vision

According to a CDC study, people with diabetes who already have vision problems often do not realize that their acuity can be improved with the help of properly selected glasses or contact lenses.

  • In 11% of patients who participated in the monitoring, significantly reduced visual acuity was recorded.
  • But 65% of them did not use contact lenses or glasses.

Watch for blood pressure

According to British scientists, the fight against high pressure saves the eyesight of patients with diabetes. They examined 758 patients and concluded that maintaining blood pressure at about 144/82 mm Hg. Art., you can reduce the risk of visual impairment by 47%.

Increased blood pressure can damage the blood vessels of the eye, as explained by study author David Matthews, chairman of the Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Eat fish to see better

A new large-scale study, the results of which were published in the journal Nature Medicine, demonstrated that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)   Omega-3 contained in fish protects against the development and progression of retinopathy.

  • Scientists believe that increasing the omega-3 fatty acid content and reducing the amount of omega-6 fatty acids (the most common type of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the modern Russian diet) reduces the damage that leads to abnormal blood vessel dilatation and blindness.
  • A higher amount of omega-6 PUFAs contributes to the abnormal expansion of blood vessels in the retina.
  • An increase in omega-3 in the diet of only 2% reduces the severity of retinopathy by 40-50%.

“The promising results are associated with high concentrations of omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated acids,” says study lead author Kip M. Connor, Ph.D., researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Boston, a branch of Harvard Medical School.

Choose the brightest fruits

Antioxidants, called anthocyanins, are found in red and purple berries. They reduce damage to the eyes due to exposure to solar radiation and natural aging, as well as improve blood circulation. Studies show that plant pigments can slow down the development of diabetic retinopathy, strengthening the walls of blood vessels.

Spoil yourself with nuts

A study of Harvard Medical School, which lasted 5 years, showed that eating nuts at least once a week slows down vision deterioration by 40%.

Experts believe that the healthy fat contained in nuts can prevent the “clogging” of the arteries of the eyes, just as it protects the heart vessels.

Relax more often

According to research from Ohio Medical University, a relaxed, calm state can reduce blood glucose levels and, consequently, reduce the risk of complications such as diabetic retinopathy and blindness.

  • For 10 weeks while the experiment was going on, 15 out of 30 volunteers performed daily muscle relaxation exercises. At the end of the study, those who practiced the relaxation techniques had a 10% decrease in blood glucose levels.
  • In addition, in the relaxation group, there was a decrease in anxiety and other symptoms of depression.

“Stress causes a release of hormones that increase the level of sugar in   blood, ”explains lead researcher Ronald McGinnis. “Reducing chronic stress leads to a shutdown of this process.”

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