Diabetes Patients Experience Diabetic Retinopathy, Can They Be Cured?
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that can attack all age groups. This condition is divided into two types, namely type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes mellitus occurs due to an autoimmune disease that causes the pancreas to be unable to produce insulin. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes mellitus appears as an effect of unhealthy eating patterns because you cannot control the sugar intake that enters the body.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disorder that occurs in people with diabetes. At first, diabetic retinopathy often shows only mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all. However, if left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the complications of diabetes. This complication causes blockage of the blood vessels in the retina of the eye.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
The retina is a layer at the back of the eye that is sensitive to light. The retina functions to convert light entering the eye into electrical signals which are then transmitted to the brain. In the brain, these electrical signals are perceived as images. To function properly, the retina requires a blood supply from the surrounding blood vessels.
In diabetes sufferers, high blood sugar levels can cause gradual blockage of blood vessels so that blood supply to the retina is reduced. Blockage of the retina will trigger the formation of new blood vessels to meet blood needs. However, these new blood vessels do not develop completely so they are vulnerable to rupture or damage.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can vary, depending on the stage of the disease. In the early stages, patients may not feel any symptoms. However, as time goes by, some common symptoms that may appear include:
- Blurred or changing vision.
- Floating spots or dark patches in vision (floaters).
- Poor night vision.
- Empty or dark areas in the field of view.
- Loss of vision, if the disease enters an advanced stage.
If you suffer from diabetes mellitus, have your eyes checked by a doctor regularly to ensure that your friend Hermina's vision is not problematic. Don't wait for the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy to get worse. Also, call your doctor if your vision is spotty or blurry. Pregnant women with diabetes are at great risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, it is important for pregnant women with diabetes to undergo regular eye examinations.
Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy
The way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is to prevent diabetes, namely by keeping blood sugar levels normal. Meanwhile, for diabetes sufferers, there are a number of efforts that can be taken to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy:
- Monitor and record blood sugar levels several times a day, then report the results to your doctor during control.
- Consume foods with complete and balanced nutrition.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit your intake of sugar and saturated fat.
- Lose weight until you reach your body mass index (BMI).
- Do moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, for at least 150 minutes every week.
- Use blood sugar control medication or insulin as directed by your doctor.
- Always be alert if you feel any changes in your vision.
- Stop smoking or consuming alcoholic drinks.
- Keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels normal.
- Have regular eye examinations, at least once a year.
Diabetic retinopathy is a health threat that can potentially cause blindness. Management and early detection with routine screening can reduce the risk of vision loss for people with diabetes mellitus. Don't hesitate to ask questions and consult a doctor at RSU Hermina Pandanaran if you experience symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. Get easy schedules and doctor registration via the Hermina mobile application, Website www.herminahospitals.com, or Call Center 1500 488.