What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetes Mellitus is currently one of the most serious health conditions around the world.
It is an abnormality in the metabolism of glucose in the blood, due to altered production or activity of insulin, which is clinically expressed as high or elevated blood sugar levels. It has been estimated the cost of Diabetic Retinopathy globally exceeds the amount of 20 billion of dollars, annually. Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is as a specific vascular complication of type I and of type II Diabetes Mellitus. The duration of the diabetic pathology is an extremely important risk factor for developing Diabetic Retinopathy and the period needed to be developed is usually between 15 and 20 years.
This vascular pathology, which is being developed due to the total change of the body micro-circulation and especially due to the retina, destroys the vascular walls, which are becoming permeable and allows the blood to come out of the vessels and consequent bleeding, edema, exudations and final occlusion. All the above mentioned, can change the layers of the retina both with its anatomical and normal definition. Initial pain can be experienced by the individual along with retinal cell death with subsequent loss of vision. In some cases total blindness can be occurred.
Similarly to other vision conditions, the beginning of it cannot be observed: there are no symptoms, but the retina constantly deteriorates and as a result the vision is being decreased with a steady pace.
The development and manifestation of Diabetic Retinopathy is associated with some or all of the following:
- Diabetes Quality Regulation
- Arterial Hypertension
- Diabetes Duration
- Genetic Predisposition
In more details:
It has been proved that patients who suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy, may not show or experience any symptoms even until the final stage of the disease. Which means, that when one eye sees normally (10/10) may Diabetic Retinopathy already exist in advanced degree and even productive type.
According to the above mentioned information, from the moment that someone is getting diagnosed with Diabetes, he/she has to do Retinoscopy (Ret) on a yearly basis throughout his life in combination with the stabilization of his/her sugar blood levels, his/her hypertension and hyperlipidemia as well, in order the manifestation and development of Diabetic Retinopathy to be avoided.
The usual micro vascular changes caused by this medical condition represent a predictable result and this allows the prevention of severe complications in someone’s vision. If being neglected, Diabetic Retinopathy can cause severe loss of vision or even blindness. The macular edema, (the fattening of the central part of the retina) can fundamentally decrease the visual acuity. Careful management of diabetes and scheduling annual eye exams is the best way to prevent the loss of vision.
The Diagnostic Process:
50% of the population with Diabetes suffer from Retinopathy in a less or more severe form.
Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema may develop due to the lack of warning symptoms. Although, advanced disease status and the involvement of Macular edema are associated with a high risk of vision loss, which in many cases, cannot be reversed. Therefore, even if the vision does not seem to be impaired, every diabetic patient has to do the standard fundoscopy. When Diabetic Retinopathy appears and is confirmed through diagnostic testing, the patient is being informed about the severity of the condition and the treatment that has to be followed.
Diabetic Retinopathy and Medical Acupuncture
Scientific studies have shown that Medical Acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus.
Furthermore, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been used for the treatment of diabetic complications including Diabetic Retinopathy, for many years.
A study published in February 2020, included a randomized controlled test group (RCT). The study included 33 trials and 3.379 participants in total. The randomized controlled test concerned the treatment of the Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR). In comparison with Western Medicine, treatments with Traditional Chinese Medicine managed to improve patient’s visual acuity. (Click here to see the published study)
A number of acupuncture sessions, which may differ based on patient’s specific pathology, can stop the negative progression of the disease and as the therapy continues, patient’s vision starts to improve.
Orasis Acupuncture Center combines a well-trained administrative personnel with the scientific knowledge and experience of its medical team. We take care of our patients needs focusing on each individual case with the uniqueness it deserves.
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