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Retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels that support the retina become damaged and no longer provide the nutritional support the eyes need to function correctly. In the beginning, a person may not have any indication that something is wrong. Because it advances slowly, many people may not know they even have the condition. It is extremely common in individuals who have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Because it is often associated with diabetes, doctors will often check the eyes of their diabetic patients to determine whether or not they show signs of the condition. If left untreated and the condition continues to advance, the end result is often blindness. If a patient does not bring their blood sugar levels under control, they will dramatically increase their risk of being diagnosed with retinopathy.
Diabetes can have a devastating effect on a person's circulatory system. It can also have an effect on how the body transports blood sugar, as well as how it is regulated. When blood sugar levels are not kept under control, the excess sugar in the body can damage nerves, soft tissues, and disrupt blood flow to various parts of the body. This includes blood flow to the eyes. If the retina does not have the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly, a person's eyesight may be irreversibly damaged. The longer the fluctuations in blood sugar are allowed to occur, the more damage that can be caused by the disease.
While there may be conditions in which retinopathy may not be able to be avoided, making positive lifestyle changes and attempting to control a person's blood sugar levels may be able to prevent the advancement of retinopathy. Proper regulation of the body's blood glucose levels will allow the retina to receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function normally. It is also important to include foods that promote good eye health such as carrots. Eating a nutritious diet, maintaining proper blood glucose levels, and visiting an ophthalmologist once a year will help to keep the risk of retinopathy low.
InsuranceWe accept most major insurance. If you have any questions about your eligibility or coverage, please call our office. We are happy to help you! Please note that our practice does not take VSP or vision benefits. Dr. Hampton accepts medical insurance. Please call to inquire with any questions.