Diabetic Retinopathy & Retinal Detachment
The human body is a complex system that often malfunctions. Many people believe that numerous diseases are a natural reflection of the body aging and cannot be avoided. The goal of my paper is to change this perception and demonstrate that healthy eating and an active lifestyle can result in a healthy body at any age.
The aim of this essay is to prove the preceding statement to be true by examining two major diseases of the sensory system diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment, and how a healthy lifestyle can be a preventative measure or slow down the progress of these diseases developing.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition caused by diabetes that can harm the eyes and damage the small blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is a main cause of blindness in Americans 20 to 74 years old. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are most at risk for developing this condition. The chances increase even more if you have had diabetes for a long time or your blood sugar (glucose) levels have been poorly regulated. (MedlinePlus) Symptoms of retinopathy usually go unnoticed until server damage has been done to the retina and bleeding of the eye occurs. Typical symptoms include:
Bad Night Vision
Floaters or spots in your vision
Blurred or distorted vision
Slow Loss of Vision over Time
Shadows and missing areas of vision
Pain, pressure or constant redness in the eye
Conventional treatments of the disease involve both a medical doctor and an ophthalmologist. The Ophthalmologist can perform Vitrectomy, a surgical procedure involving a laser to seal off leaking blood vessels and reduce swelling to prevent further vascular changes and preserve vision. (WebMD) The medical doctor can help to better control blood sugar levels and treat other complications of diabetes. As with all treatments results may not be apparent immediately and you may have to wait several months to find out the condition is improving.
While there may not be much you can do to prevent diabetic retinopathy once the condition is severe besides going to an Ophthalmologist, there still are plenty of healthy diet and lifestyle choices you can make to help reduce your chances of developing diabetes which is directly related in the cause of retinopathy.
The most important preventive measure is to control blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels should be kept in the target range of 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter by eating a healthy diet (proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats) along with getting regular physical exercise. (Rosenblatt)
Other preventive measures include controlling your blood pressure and having our eyes examined at least once a year. Retinopathy is more likely to progress to the severe form and that macular edema is more likely to occur in people with high blood pressure. (WebMD) Retinal detachment is a separation of the light-sensitive membrane (retina) in the back of the eye from its supporting layers. (MedLinePlus) Tractional detachment is a specific type of retinal detachment that occurs in people who have uncontrolled diabetes. Symptoms include:
Bright flashes of