Healthy Living: Diabetes Can Affect Your Vision

3/1/201

Diabetes can adversely affect the healthy functioning of your eyes, so if you have diabetes, you may want to have an ophthalmologist check your sight to ensure that you don't lose your eyesight.

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Healthy Living in the Four Corners

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is brought to you by

Southwest Eye Consultants.

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Thanks for watching Healthy

Living in the Four Corners.

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I'm Deborah Uroda.

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Have you recently been

diagnosed with diabetes?

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Then you may want to make sure

you visit an ophthalmologist

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to have your eyes checked for a condition

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called diabetic retinopathy,

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especially if you begin to

experience blurred vision

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or little floating specks in your eyes.

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Diabetes affects the small blood vessels.

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You know, blood comes into

a tissue via arteries,

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divides into a million capillaries,

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where oxygen and nutrient exchange occurs,

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and then is taken back to

the heart by the veins.

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And diabetes attacks the

eyes and the kidneys first,

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because they are very active tissues

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and they require these

tiny little blood vessels

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in order to supply the the organ

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with the nutrients it needs.

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So, what happens in the retina

is you get poor blood flow.

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And when you have poor blood

flow, it causes inflammation.

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It causes abnormal bleeding

and swelling of the retina.

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Ultimately it can cause vision loss

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from all of those things,

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but also creation of scar tissue

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as a result of these

insults to the tissue,

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and cause a traction retinal detachment.

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Dr. Haug says a number

of different treatments

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can help diabetics retain their vision,

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but the causes are systemic,

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and it's important for diabetics

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to take care of their health.

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There are different lasers we can use

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for various types of diabetic retinopathy.

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More recently, we've been using

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some of the same drugs we

use in macular degeneration

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for patients with diabetes.

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It helps improve the

blood flow to the tissue,

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and it also helps reduce

some of the complications

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of diabetes in the eyes.

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We also end up doing surgery in some cases

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to remove some of the abnormal bleeding

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and repair detachments as needed.

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The biggest issue in

diabetic patients is just

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making sure the blood

sugar's under control.

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What often happens is

you have a new patient

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who didn't know they had diabetes,

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with sugars out of control,

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that come in and they have a

lot of changes in their retina.

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Once their sugars get under control,

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it can take a full year for us

to get the eye under control,

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but sugar control is the biggest thing

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patients with diabetes can do.

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And then the other thing is,

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if there are complications in the eye,

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the earlier we get to it, the better.

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So, close monitoring by

your ophthalmologist.

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If you'd like to know more

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about cataract surgery and

the options available to you,

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contact SouthwestEyeConsultants.com.

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I'm Deborah Uroda for Healthy Living.

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