Diabetic eye disease is a serious complication of Diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Fortunately, this debilitating condition can be prevented by aggressive treatment of Diabetes right from the start.
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetes gradually affects eyes over a period of years. It affects the innermost layer of the eye, known as the retina. Hence, the condition is known as Diabetic Retinopathy. It is of two types:
- Diabetic Background Retinopathy
- Diabetic Proliferative Retinopathy
Diabetic Background Retinopathy is less dangerous whereas Diabetic Proliferative Retinopathy is a seriously dangerous condition. It can threaten your eyesight.
In addition, diabetics are more prone to develop cataracts, eye infections and macular degeneration.
How To Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease
While various treatments are available to treat diabetic eye disease, prevention is your best option. At the Jamila Diabetes & Endocrine Medical Center, I have been able to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy in the vast majority of my patients.
Outline of My Approach to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease
- Aggressive Control of Blood Glucose in Most Type 2 Diabetic Patients, but without the risk of Hypoglycemia. Therefore, I avoid insulin in my Type 2 diabetics, which is the most common cause of hypoglycemia. Using my 5-step approach, I aim for a HbA1c less than 6.0%.
- Aggressive Control of High Blood Pressure. Hypertension occurs much more frequently in patients with Diabetes. Hypertension itself can cause eye damage. Therefore, the combination of Hypertension and Diabetes is very detrimental for eyes. Blood pressure should be less than 130/85 mm Hg in a diabetic patient.