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Lối sống lành mạnh : Glossary
Diabetes and cataract
[2007-09-18 09:40] (1,204)

Diabetes is the representative geriatric disease and the incidence increases with age. The recent lengthening of the human life expectancy also contributes to the increasing number of patients suffering from diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition characterized by the presence of abnormally high levels of blood sugar. Due to this excessive sugar in the blood, various main organs and functions are disabled, including the kidneys, the peripheral nerves, and the retina. The retina in our eyes is the point of focus when we look at an object (corresponding to the film of a camera). Excessive blood sugar level may cause serious disorders of the eyes and may even lead to loss of eyesight.

The severity of diabetic retinopathy is proportional to the length of the disease. Anyone suffering from diabetes will get retinopathy, and it will worsen as the disease progresses. Diabetic retinopathy brings damage to the retina and since a damaged retina cannot be repaired, it is recommended to find the symptoms early and prevent its progression. Laser photocoagulation is the most commonly used treatment for diabetic retinopathy. This treatment aims to stop the progression of the retinopathy but cannot repair the already damaged retina. In other words, it aims to stop the deterioration of eyesight but it can’t improve the already bad eyesight. Diabetes not only causes disorder of the retina, but also damages the various areas of our eyes. Generally, it frequently causes cataracts, also known as eye diseases of the elderly. A diabetic patient with cataracts has a relatively different progress and requires a different treatment.

For diabetic patients with cataracts, the cataract surgeries are carried out for 2 reasons.

The first is to improve the eyesight. Unless the patient has other eye diseases, the decrease in eyesight in the elderly is usually due to cataract.

When the cataract is corrected by surgery, the patient will recover his previous eyesight.

Cataract patients with diabetic retinopathy have bad eyesights, partly because of the cataracts and partly because of the diabetic retinopathy. Cataract surgery would only improve the decrease in eyesight caused by the cataract but not the one caused by diabetic retinopathy. It is difficult for the retina to recover after being damaged by diabetic retinopathy, that’s why cataract surgery would be unable to improve the eyesight deterioration caused by diabetic retinopathy.

For example, let’s assume that a patient with diabetic retinopathy and cataract has a normal eyesight of 1.0. The eyesight he had before the surgery was 0.1, which means that among the deteriorated 0.9, 0.5 is caused by the cataract and 0.4 is caused by the diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, if he undergoes cataract surgery, he will achieve an improved eyesight of 0.5 but will not be expected to return to his normal eyesight of 1.0.

If most of the eyesight deterioration was caused by cataract, most of the eyesight will be recovered upon surgery. On the other hand, if most of the deterioration was caused by diabetic retinopathy, you should not expect any improvements, even after the surgery. However, it is difficult to accurately evaluate the reasons for the patient’s worsened eyesight before the surgery. The reason for this is that the cataract stops us from observing the status of the retina. In the end, you will know which contributed more to the deterioration of eyesight by assessing the eyesight improvement after surgery.

The second goal is to observe the retina and attempt a laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy worsens as the disease is left untreated, and may eventually lead to blindness. The treatment, as mentioned before, is to discover it early and observe the progress carefully. At the appropriate time, laser photocoagulation should be used to prevent and stop further deterioration.

When the patient has cataract, the blurry eye makes it harder to observe the accurate condition of the retina. It may even cause difficulty in performing the laser photocoagulation. In these cases, the patient must undergo cataract surgery even if he/she would have no improvement of eyesight after surgery. It is a necessary step to observe the retina or to perform the laser surgery.

For the 2 reasons mentioned above, the patients with both cataract and diabetic retinopathy will have to undergo cataract surgery. However, regardless of the results of the surgery, the diabetic retinopathy will worsen with time, and the eyesight deterioration will become more severe. The diabetic patient should therefore control his/her blood sugar level after the surgery and should constantly monitor his/her eyes (through regular eye examinations) to find out the appropriate treatment required.

Sắc đẹp & Phong cáchUng thư và Phòng ngừaLối sống lành mạnhSức khỏe tinh thần và stressGiới tính Nam/NữChủ đề nóng bỏng
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