Have eyes checked regularly for diabetes

After many years of diabetes, blind people are at risk

Those with the metabolic disorder diabetes should have their eyes examined at regular intervals. Patients with diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing eye retinas. It is not uncommon for the eye disease to lead to complete blindness of the patient, which is why preventive examinations are important.

Patients with diabetes should have their eyes checked regularly. This is pointed out by the German Diabetes Aid on the occasion of the white stick day on October 15th. Because those affected are at greater risk of going blind due to their illness. This is triggered by diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the retina. The increasing damage to the small blood vessels causes damage to the retina that is usually unnoticed at the beginning of the disease. Because the eye disease is gradual and patients do not feel any visual impairment at the beginning, diabetic retinopathy is often recognized late without continuous control. However, if the disease is recognized in time, therapies can delay the further course and in the best case even stop it.

Retinal damage often after 25 years of diabetes According to some studies, around 80 percent of diabetes patients show retinal damage after around 25 years. As a result, around 1,700 patients go blind each year. "Regular ophthalmological checks can prevent blindness," warns the German Diabetes Aid.

The experts in diabetes help recommend that diabetics have an eye doctor examined for their retina at least once a year. If the doctor already detects changes in the retina, follow-up examinations are recommended every three to six months. Since the blood vessels in the eye are damaged by high blood sugar and high blood pressure, those affected should prevent their blood sugar levels as a precaution. The optimal blood pressure is 120/80 and should not exceed permanent values ​​of 140/80 at rest. In order to lower blood pressure, a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise, reduction of excess weight and a majority of vegetables / fruit foods can be helpful. If these measures are not sufficient, the doctor will prescribe additional medication.

If the eyesight has already deteriorated, it is no longer reversible. However, the eye doctor will usually try to prevent complete blindness with laser treatment, medication or eye surgery. The best prevention is optimal diabetes therapy. (sb)

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