November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in the U.S. in adults ages 20-74. It can cause a number of eye problems, some of which can rob your vision and lead to blindness if not addressed. Diabetes can damage your nerves, teeth, hearing and all major organs. It can also lead to amputation of limbs if not controlled. Please keep regular medical check ups and scheduled yearly comprehensive dilated eye exams. – MDA   “Knowledge is Power”
Dr. Alisa Hideg
About 10 years ago I met a young woman in her mid-20s who was blind due to retinopathy, damage to the retina at the back of her eyes caused by many years of uncontrolled diabetes. She had juvenile onset diabetes and had struggled with a lack of insurance and inability to get enough medication and care. Retinopathy is one result of uncontrolled diabetes. Retinopathy, cataracts and other eye complications from diabetes are not inevitable and do not have to result in blindness. Blood sugar control, proper preventive care and regular eye exams can reduce the risk and the damage of these complications.
When diabetic retinopathy begins, it causes small blood vessels at the back of the eye to swell and form pouches. The condition progresses from mild to severe as more blood vessels swell. If left untreated, people can eventually lose their vision.
If the capillary walls leak fluid into the macula (the part of the eye helps you focus), it swells and vision becomes distorted. An ophthalmologist can offer treatment to stop further vision distortion, and in some cases reverse vision loss.
Sometimes after several years of retinopathy, the capillaries are so damaged that they shut down. As a result, your body creates new blood vessels in your retina to provide circulation. The new blood vessels can leak and block your vision; they can also cause growth of scar tissue, which can distort the retina or cause it to detach as the scar tissue shrinks…….
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Source: The Spokesman-Review