I think we all suffer from acute blindness at times. Life is a constant journey of trying to open your eyes. I'm just beginning my journey, and my eyes aren't fully open yet - Olivia Thirlby
image by: International Diabetes Federation
I’ve always believed in preventative health care. And as a person with Type 1 diabetes, every year I would see my ophthalmologist for a thorough eye exam. After each visit, I typically felt giddy and celebratory, always leaving the office with a good report; “Nothing to see here... see you next year.” Even though I would normally receive good news, I always dreaded these check ups, as going blind from diabetes retinopathy is my biggest nemesis, my biggest fear and a potential turning point in my life that I always believed I couldn’t handle. So every morning for about two weeks out from these annual visits, I would wake up with a feeling of dread and fear of having to stare down that…
Even though I would normally receive good news, I always dreaded these check ups, as going blind from diabetes retinopathy is my biggest nemesis, my biggest fear and a potential turning point in my life that I always believed I couldn’t handle.
Generally, diabetics don't develop diabetic retinopathy until they have had diabetes for at least 10 years. But it is unwise to wait that long for an eye exam.
PDR is the more advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. It happens when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization.
Successful care of diabetic retinopathy depends not only on early treatment by your ophthalmologist, but especially on your attitude and attention to medications and diet.
In Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR), the abnormal vessels of neovascularization are quite fragile and if not treated aggressively will often lead to a severe loss of vision due to vitreous hemorrhaging, scar tissue formation, and finally retinal detachment.
Diabetic retinopathy patients may benefit from the new macular degeneration anti VEGF drugs. Studies are under way.
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