Our eyes are important sensory organs with which we can perceive our surroundings and exchange ourselves with other people. Long-term diabetes, however, can damage the eyes and cause diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar damages the smallest blood vessels that supply the retina with oxygen and nutrients.
Vascular damage can threaten the eyesight
On the one hand, vascular damage leads to a deficiency supply due to occlusions of the vessels, on the other hand, changes in the vessel walls lead to small haemorrhages in the retina and increased deposits of fatty substances. These are the first signs that the retina is damaged. They are not noticed by the person concerned and are not associated with any impairment of vision. At this stage, the retinal change can still be treated well. However, if the disease progresses, it can be dangerous to the eye. In the worst case, even the eyesight can be threatened.
Check with the ophthalmologist
- After diagnosis "diabetes mellitus" you should immediately consult an ophthalmologist, who makes a first diagnosis.
- General rule: If no retinal change is present, an ophthalmological examination is sufficient once a year. If there are already changes to the retina, the doctor decides how often controls are needed.
- The earlier a diabetic retinal disease is detected and the sooner the treatment starts, the better the chances of success.
- Tip: Diabetics should go to the ophthalmologist in the winter or bring along sunglasses and not drive with the car for examination, since the examination of the fundus is done with an enlarged pupil.
- The diabetic should have the findings given to him by the ophthalmologist immediately in order to be able to deliver them to his treating physician.
Prevention of diabetic nephropathy through good glycemic control
Since high blood sugar damages the small blood vessels, a good blood sugar control is the basic precondition for prevention. An important criterion for the blood sugar adjustment of the last two to three months is the so-called HbA1c value measured by the doctor. This value can also be referred to as blood glucose long-term memory. A well-adjusted diabetic is largely protected from the consequences of diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, let the HbA1c value be determined by your doctor every three months!
Blood pressure to normal values
Especially for type 2 diabetics: the blood pressure must be controlled and if necessary adjusted with medication, so that the attacked or newly formed capillaries can not break or burst. But even those who have a normal blood pressure, should avoid any increase in blood pressure - especially in the head area. Therefore:
- no stooping, no heavy carrying
- no strength training, no strong pressing during bowel movements
A reduction in blood pressure is possible in about half of the patients - in the so-called salt-sensitive - by a low-salt diet.
Necessary is also the renouncement of nicotine, because smoking accelerates changes above all at the small blood vessels.