Globally, roughly about 72 million of the world’s population has diabetes, a third of this population is likely to develop complications from this long-term disease. Zooming in to 2030, it is estimated that, by that time, 439 million people will have diabetes and consequently develop disease complications if this remains to be uncontrolled. Diabetes can then be considered an epidemic that the human population is facing.
Recent studies show that the prevalence of developing Diabetic Retinopathy for Americans as one of the complications of having longstanding diabetes is at about 40 to 45%, mostly occurring in black (45.71%), Hispanic (34.6%), and native Americans (49.6%). It is quite pressing as we can say that the absolute would want to live an optimum quality of life in this world.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
- Diabetic retinopathy is among the group of eye conditions that may develop through time for people with diabetes.
- People with Diabetes Insipidus Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, and pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes are all at risk to suffer this complication.
- It is a common cause of vision impairment and loss for the working-age adults.
How does Diabetic Retinopathy develop?
The Retina is the tissue that lines the back of the eye whose functions is to detect light when it hits the object or scenery that you are looking at. This light, then, is converted by the retina to become signals and is delivered to the brain through the optic nerve, hence, we are able to see.
When a person has diabetes, elevated blood sugar acts as a thickener which makes the blood becomes more viscous. Human blood travels throughout the body through several types of blood vessels in order for it to supply the oxygen our body needs to function properly. Think of the blood vessel as a thin hose, and the blood as the water from the faucet. As the blood becomes thicker and the pressure becomes higher, the tiny blood vessels or the hose will not be able to accommodate such conditions this will then damage the blood vessels, especially the smaller ones, in the long run.
Uncontrolled diabetes, which entail elevated blood sugar for a long period of time, will lead to the blockage in the tiny blood vessels in the retina, impeding the necessary blood supply. The eye will also attempt to grow new blood vessels to compensate for the loss, but they usually do not develop properly; subsequently, the newly grown blood vessels, being weak, will easily leak or bleed.
How to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy to develop?
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has published guidelines as to when to have the eyes checked. For women with diabetes and gets pregnant, it is advised to get checked during the first trimester of the pregnancy and should be closely followed during pregnancy up to one year of giving birth.
Although the facts may seem to daunting, it is to your advantage that you equip yourself in this battle against diabetes, and it is possible to win, as long as you get educated, get checked, and employ your highest amount of self-discipline.