Cataracts And Diabetes, A Secret Not Told Enough…

Cataracts And Diabetes, A Secret Not Told Enough

cataractsYou sat at your ophthalmologist office waiting for your doctor and you unintentionally search around the waiting room and discover most patients are seniors: you quickly start to wonder whether you are seeing a senior-only ophthalmologist. The bad news is this is happening all over the country. Most patients that you are seeing around you who are over 50 years old could be cataract patients. As the society start to fill with more and more baby boomers the cataract surgery-load is on the steep rising curve as a result.

Cataracts are also called “cloudy eyes” which interfere with vision. The cloudy eyes are lens filled with protein buildup caused by aging, diabetes or defect in the eyes (in newborn). As we age, the oxidative effect causes our skin to wrinkle and our body organs (eyes, heart, etc) to weaken. If you are a diabetic patient you are more susceptible to eye diseases due to uncontrolled blood sugar in your body. Google www.WebMD.comwww.medicinenet.com, www.diabetes.co.uk for more information about the cause, disease management and recommendations of diabetes eye complications.

Our staff searched many major websites and we have yet to find a website that talks about eye moistening as a means to prevent cataract surgery, a very important practice recommended by ophthalmologists to the elderly patients to prevent or delay cataracts. Many so-called borderline patients for cataracts surgery were send home with eye-lubrication instructions and reported a great result: seeing better and less tiring. Just image if lubricants were done many years early the resulting benefits could be far greater. The analogy was given by Les D. Grosinger, M.D, one of Michigan’s premier eye surgeons to our staff writer was “imaging your eyes are the windshield of your vehicle: if you turn on the wipe without squirting the windshield fluid (eye lubricating drops), you will damage your glass (lens) As you are getting older the natural lubricating function is decreasing, and lack of humidity in the air causes severe dryness in your eyes. Thus, eye lubrication is essential….

Having said that once the cataracts is progressing and in need of surgery the earlier that you carry out the surgery the better because according to Dr. Uday Devgan, an international expert in ocular surgery with a special interest in cataract, “In eyes with significant diabetic retinopathy, cataract surgery may lead to progression and worsening of the retinopathy, which may have detrimental effects on vision. In eyes with minimal diabetic changes, cataract surgery is not as likely to cause this progression of retinopathy. Therefore, doing cataract surgery at an earlier stage is often beneficial for diabetic patients because it is associated with fewer complications and better postoperative recovery of sharp vision.” (Diabetes retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, defined by Mayo Clinic)

Ways to delay onset of cataracts:

  • Control your blood sugar: high blood sugar in the eyes is one of the major causes for blindness.
  • Wear a pair of quality sun glasses to filter the eye-damaging blue light.
  • Take lutein to supplement: lutein is perhaps the only antioxidants with clinical support for its effectiveness in eye-disease prevention in elders. Ocuvite® eye vitamin is recommended for patient under 50 years old; Diabetain® liquid supplement for diabetes patients is recommended for patients over 50 years old for better absorption. The latter is only available online. Lutein helps to filter the blue light in the eyes and slow down the disease progression.
  • Eat a lot of bright-colored vegetables: bright-colored vegetables is full of antioxidants.
  • Moistening eyes with artificial tears or its equivalent 3-5 time a day: the lubricating eye drops are sterile and balanced closer to tear, some with glycerin or methyl cellulose added. DDP recommends preservative-free Optive®.
  • Instill two drops before sleep every night, this will help to relief morning dryness and redness.
  • Check your eyes yearly.

Brought to you By:
Charles Liu
DDP Medical Staff Writer

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