Prevent your Vision by Keeping Diabetes under control


New Delhi: Diabetes can harm one of your most prized assets, your eyesight. But you can take action and lower your odds of getting vision problems, says Elizabeth Seaquist, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Minnesota. Lots of studies make it perfectly clear that "people whose sugar are better controlled, always have fewer problems with eye disease," Seaquist says. "People need to work to achieve the level of glucose control that their doctor thinks is important to reduce their risk of eye problems. That’s critically important." Having diabetes can damage your eyes in such a way that you may become blind. Too much glucose, also called sugar, in your blood from diabetes is very harmful for your eyes.

According to a recent study, you can ward off your blindness from the effects of diabetes by intensively controlling your blood sugar level. Over time, having high blood glucose levels from diabetes can damage the tiny blood vessels on the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the medical term for damage to the retina from diabetes. This type of damage is diabetic retinopathy. It causes blood vessels in the retina to weaken and leak fluid. In some people, abnormal blood vessels can grow on the surface of the retina. Left unchecked, diabetic retinopathy can progress to the point of impairing vision. People with type 2 diabetes, who intensively controlled their blood sugar level during the landmark Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Trial Eye Study, were found to have cut their risk of diabetic retinopathy in half in a follow-up analysis conducted four years after stopping intensive therapy. Lead author Emily Chew said that this study sends a powerful message to people with type 2 diabetes who worry about losing vision and added that well-controlled glycerin or blood sugar level has a positive, measurable, and lasting effect on eye health. Even though it was unsuccessful in reducing cardiovascular disease risk, such as heart attack and stroke, the researchers found that the therapy had cut retinopathy progression by about one-third by the end of ACCORD.

Results also point to a possible role for ongoing use of fenofibrate to treat diabetic retinopathy, if taken regularly. Based on ACCORD findings, fenofibrate might be worth taking to control diabetic retinopathy progression. Chew conveyed that other countries, including Australia, have approved fenofibrate for treating diabetic retinopathy but not the U.S.