Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monitor Diabetic Retinopathy after Weight Loss Surgery

Patients with diabetes withdiabetic retinopathy who have weight loss surgery need to carefully monitor any progression of their retinopathy after the bariatric surgery even if their blood sugar is normal. What does weight loss surgery have to do with diabetic retinopathy? Researchers reporting at the  American Diabetes Association on a small pilot study found weight-loss surgery might accelerate progression of diabetic retinopathy in some cases. In the study 17.5% of the diabetes patients screened about a year before and again after bariatric surgery suffered a progression of their diabetic retinopathy as compared with the 2% to 4% of the overall diabetes patients who develop retinopathy each year. The opposite impact might have been expected. If you have a condition such as diabetic retinopathy that is the result of the diabetes and the diabetes is in remission, it makes intuitive sense that the progression of the condition would be arrested. Although a few patients did appear to have regression of their eye disease most remained unchanged after surgery in the study.

Progression of Diabetic retinopathy after Weight Loss Surgery
The patients who did progress had higher pre-surgical glucose levels and the greatest reduction in glucose levels afterward. A rapid reduction in blood glucose after the weight loss surgery-which is called “normoglycemic re-entry” or a temporary anemic episode after the weight loss surgery may actually be responsible for in the progression of preexisting diabetic retinopathy, but the mechanism is really unclear and requires a great deal of further investigation. One fact for sure-even if after weight loss surgery your blood glucose is normal, people with moderate background diabetic retinopathy prior to weight loss surgery should be monitored closely post-surgery for evidence of progression.

If you or someone you know has questions about diabetic retinopathy and weight loss or bariatric surgery and the  need for careful monitoring should feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Patient Understanding of Diabetic Retinopathy Limited

The patient understanding of diabeticretinopathy, it’s risks, it’s diagnosis, treatment and outcomes is rather limited. A recent study exploring patients’ understanding of the risk factors, cause and controllability of their own diabetic retinopathy revealed considerable misunderstanding, gaps in knowledge and potentially damaging beliefs about the cause and treatment of diabeticretinopathy.

Focus groups and interviews were conducted with patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), nearly half of whom had severe proliferative DR-a serious complication. Most of these patients had also undergone laser treatment. At the conclusion of the study, patients were found to have had a reasonable understanding of the basic risk factors for DR, such as diabetes control, but they were less clear about specific risk factors such as blood pressure and lipid control. Most patients attributed their DR either to poor diabetes control or to failings of the health care system, rather than having a basic understanding of the small blood vessel disease including circulatory and oxygen deprivation that results from the damaged blood vessels in the retina. Some patients believed that their DR was a result of health aspects beyond their control or environmental factors, whereas others were unsure about the cause.

Improving patients' understanding of the major risk factors for DR as well as helping them have a better understanding of the causes of diabetic retinopathy and being able to grasp expectations of realistic outcomes of laser and other treatment may improve patients' coping mechanisms, adaption to disease and ocular outcomes.

If you or someone you know has questions about risk of diabeticretinopathy, diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy or treatment of diabetic retinopathy, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Avoid Diabetic Eye Disease & Problems

Eyecare Medical Group highlights this time to acknowledge that Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetes affects more than 25 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. There are some 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy and thus are at risk for vision loss if not properly cared for. Although there is no cure for diabeticeye disease or diabetic retinopathy, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease. The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroupto schedule an appointment.