Diabetic Retinopathy

Written by Kevin Little
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Diabetic retinopathy affects two of the most valued parts of the body--the eyes. This complication of diabetes attacks the blood vessels within the retina, leading to loss of vision, sometimes to the extend of total blindness. As the retina is necessary for normal sight, it's easy to understand why impaired vision results.

However, understanding why retinopathy occurs in the first place is a different matter. Like most issues concerning diabetes, the root causes of the ailment are hard to sort out, so it's impossible to say which diabetics are more prone to the effects of retinopathy (with the exception of pregnant women, who are more prone to the development of symptoms). Nevertheless, more than two in five diabetics will develop some form of retinopathy during their lifetimes.

Dealing with Diabetic Retinopathy

Retinopaty occurs without warning, and does not exhibit symptoms in its early stages. For that reason, it's essential for diabetics to go for an eye exam each year in which the pupils are dilated in order to monitor for retinopathy. Such a step is immeasurably important to enable treatment to begin as soon as possible.

There is no treatment needed for the initial three stages of retinopathy once it occurs. However, to keep the disorder from continuing to progress, it is, as always, of tantamount importance to keep blood glucose levels in line. Once diabetic retinopathy has progressed, options for treatment include laser eye surgery and dietary supplements that include a high dosage of thiamine, such as benfotiamine.

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