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Diabetic Retinopathy

Intro

Even if the patient is not experiencing any symptoms due to diabetes mellitus, the patient should have an annual eye examination by an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye disease and eye surgery).

If the ophthalmologist notices any significant signs of diabetic eye disease or if the patient requires treatment, exams may need to be scheduled more frequently than annually.

If the patient notes any significant changes in vision other than a mild temporary blurring, they should contact an ophthalmologist immediately.

Self-Care at Home

If the patient controls their weighed , eats a proper diabetic diet, exerciseregularly, monitors blood sugars, and takes the prescribed diabetic medications, the chances of developing serious problems due to diabetes mellitus decrease dramatically.

If the patient has diabetic eye disease and is experiencing serious visual problems, almost all treatment will require the care provided by an ophthalmologist.

Follow-up

If you or someone you know has diabetes mellitus and mild diabetic eye disease, follow-up examinations with an ophthalmologist every year may be all that is necessary.

If the patient has more serious disease, more frequent follow-up appointments with an ophthalmologist are required based on the severity of the disease.

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Prevention

If you or someone you know has diabetes mellitus, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The chances of developing serious complications from diabetes decrease dramatically by adhering to the following:

Even if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, eating healthy eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weighed , exercising regularly, and not smoking are advisable.

This is especially important in light of the new, more accurate definition of diabetes mellitus that estimates 41 million people in the United States have "pre-diabetes," a condition that significantly increases the risk for developing this disease.

Outlook

The earlier diabetic eye disease is diagnosed and treated (if necessary), the better the prognosis.
For those with diabetic retinopathy, the prognosis is determined by the severity of the disease. In mild cases and in those treated early, the patient may not even notice any problems with their vision. In severe cases, relentless and progressive irreversible vision loss may occur despite the best treatment.
Cataracts  are easily treated with cataract surgery, and, if the vision loss is due to cataracts, almost everyone undergoing cataract surgery sees better afterward.
Vision loss as a result of glaucoma  is usually prevented by the use of antiglaucoma eyedrops.

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