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Raul Southgate

Raul Southgate

Diabetes Advocate

Articles by R. Southgate
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Do not take the information from this blog as medical advice in any way. Your diabetes require specialized care conducted by your currant doctor or by your medical care team. Do not change your medication or lifestyle based on information you may find here.

Although there is no known cure, diabetes can be kept under control by medication, dieting, and physical activities but only under professional attention, which this site does not offer.

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Diabetes Complications – Eyes Diseases

~ Diabetes Complications – Eyes Diseases ~

Some of the most common diabetes diabetes complicationscomplications are those related to the eyes, more specifically Glaucoma, Cataract and Retinopathy. If not treated early these complications can lead to blindness. On the contrary, addressing the diabetes complications properly and in a regular manner will help keeping them minor. Even if the complications became major modern medicine has tools and treatments to deal with.

Before going further we must understand how the eyes are build and work. The eye is an organ covered with a membrane round shaped, called sclera. The membrane in the front is transparent so the light can pass through. It is also curved, thus is acting as a lens, focusing the light beam. This specialized membrane is called cornea. Behind cornea there is aqueous humor whose role is to provide cornea and lens with nutrients and oxygen. Next is the iris which regulates the amount of light which pass through the eye. Behind the iris is the lens which focuses the light. Further on the light pass through the vitreous body and hit retina. Retina is the tissue that transforms the light into electric signals which are sent to the brain through the optic nerve.

Most common diabetes complications related to the eyes are Glaucoma, Cataract and Retinopathy.

The incidence of glaucoma is 40% higher on the people with diabetes than people without this disease. The risk of developing Glaucoma is higher when the patient has had diabetes for long time. Age is also an important factor which has influence on developing Glaucoma. Older the patient is the higher is the risk to get Glaucoma.

The cause of Glaucoma is the increased pressure in the aqueous humor. This liquid is continuously produced and drained, its role being to transport nutrients and oxygen to cornea, iris and lens. If the drainage is obstructed the internal pressure is increasing. A high pressure leads eventually to permanent damage of the optical nerve and to the blindness. There is no treatment for a permanent damage nerve, but with early detection of the high pressure in the eye a treatment can be followed to arrest the evolution of the disease. Treatment includes medication and/or surgery.

Although many people can develop cataract, the ones with diabetes have 60% more chances to get this disease. The disease occurs in the crystalline lens by forming opaque clouds and thus the light is obstructed in its way to retina. Proteins are the main “bricks” the crystalline lens are made from and due to diabetes condition some chemical modifications in these proteins occur. Cataracts can be surgically cured by replacing the opaque lens with a clear one. A diabetes patient has an increased sensibility to develop glaucoma after a cataract surgery.

Diabetic Retinopathy
All disorders of the retina caused by diabetes are known as Diabetic Retinopathy. Two major types are known: proliferative and non-proliferative. Non-proliferative Retinopathy occurs when the blood capillary in the retina area (back of the eye) form dents and pouches. This disease can have three stages – mild, medium and severe – depends how many vessels are affected. The vessel walls lose their capability to control the fluids flow and retina swells with fluid. The sight blurs and may be lost entirely. Retinopathy can develop during many years leading to a more severe disease called Proliferative Retinopathy. Blood vessels become so damaged that their role is reduced to zero. New blood vessels are grown to replace the old ones but their walls are weak and blood can escape blocking the vision. Broken new capillary forms scar tissue which will furthermore distort the retina.

It is highly recommended that persons with diabetes to perform regular eye examinations in order to diagnose the diabetes complications in an early stage when it is still curable.


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