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Diabetic Complications: Retinopathy

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Up until one and half years ago I never had any serious problems with my eyes due to my diabetes. I could see everything well. I have had near sightedness for over five years, and I recently started using low power reading glasses. But my problem this time was different. I started seeing black fibers floating in my eyes. I could see bubbles forming in my left eye. It's like a bunch of soap suds floating in the air. I was worried about the black fibers a lot and once I noticed them I started being aware of them all the time. There were more noticeable in the day time when I went out. I spent hours in the backyard each day trying to figure out what they were.

Finally, when it was time for me to get my yearly checkup with my ophthalmologist I put forth my fears in front of him. Never in the previous years was I told that I had any problem with my eyes. I had been very good in keeping my yearly check ups with all my doctors. After all the tests were done my eye doctor told me I was developing diabetic retinopathy. The black fibers as well as the bubbles I was seeing were initial stages of it. It scared me to death. I could see myself losing my eyesight. I am an avid reader and just the thought of losing my sight made me have chills down my spine.

I went on a more strict diet and exercise regimen in the following months. My hemoglobin A1c went down from 10.2 to 7.7 within a few months. Six months later I went back for a followup checkup and was told that my condition had improved quite a bit and I do not have to worry about more complications as long as I keep up with my control over diabetes. It is a constant struggle but I managed to keep it under control as much as I can.

For my last yearly eye check-up I went to another ophthalmologist because of insurance changes. I took all my health information to him including my eye condition. After all the tests were done he came up with good news that my eyes are fine except for a little speck of fiber which could be a protein floater. I was relieved and happy, all the time bearing in mind this is not over for me; it is a continuous process. I am aware that keeping my blood sugars constant and near close to normal is the only way I can avoid any future complications with not just my eye but many other diabetic complications.

Diabetic retinopathy is defined as a complication of diabetes resulting in damage to the blood vessels of the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). (mayoclinic.com). Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that causes no symptoms at first but as the time goes by becomes more severe with out of control blood sugar levels. The longer a person is diabetic the greater the chances of developing this condition. Yearly exams and tight control over diabetes play major role in preventing this condition.
The risk factors include:
a. poor control of blood sugar
b. high blood pressure
c. high cholesterol levels
d. pregnancy
e. people from Black or Hispanic communities are more prone to this condition.
f. smoking
(mayo clinic.com)

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Diabetic Retinopathy

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