Diabetic eye screening


#1

Had my Diabetic eye screening recently and the eye doc said my eyes are good i got a letter today saying there are some early changes to back of my eyes due to (background retinopathy) it says it does not need any specialist treatment and does not affect your eyesight just wondering since its nothing damaging can this background retinopathy be reversed if my diabetes is under good control ?


#2

I'm not sure what "background retinopathy" is. It makes me wonder if it's a euphemism like "pre-diabates."

In any case, the landmark Diabetes Complication and Control Trial (DCCT) found that tight blood glucose management did generally arrest and sometimes reverse the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. In fact, most long-term diabetic complications respond well to sustained better blood glucose numbers. Is there anything you could do to improve your control?


#3

I would ask a specialist whether I needed treatment or not.


#4

My eye doc will say pretty much the same thing. He will check and say I am free of retinopathy but mumbles something about the background. I guess my background doesn't look normal/non-diabetic but is pretty common and not cause for concern.


#5

Background retinopathy is used in the UK which I notice you are from. It's the typical beginning(sp) Retinopathy. They wouldn't give treatment yet.

I remember a couple of Diabetics with early Retinopathy on another site years ago, saying they just got their blood sugars in better control and it healed. It didn't progress to needing laser. We were surprised since we hadn't heard of that. Keeping your blood pressure in the preferred range is important also.

I was at my Ophthalmalogist recently and he said my eyes were stable and the back of my eyes looked good.


#6

I agree with Terrie. Background retinopathy is "early" retinopathy. In the US, it is called NonProliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR), but is also sometimes called simplex retinopathy. These early changes include small bleeds or leakages, abnormal growth of blood vessels or fluid accumulation. These problems are all considered reversible with good blood sugar control.

While eye screening for retinopathy can be performed by an optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist, I think that once you suspect retinopathy, it is best to just see an expert, an ophthalmologist. I would not trust an optician to properly diagnose retinopathy as NPDR.


#7

I agree...it's time to see a specialist. Do you need to be referred to one by your Optometrist?


#8

I'd seen the doc in the interim. Last year the optometrist at Lens Crafters found one "bleeder" and I asked "what would they do for that?" and she said "nothing" so I figured I'd get to an Opthamologist this year. I went in August and they found a couple more so we're up to three "bleeders." She explained "well, for that we won't do anything, if you had like a hundred then we'd laser them." which satisfied me although I am a bit paranoid about it now. I also asked if I should eat more kale or spinach and she laughed and said "well, you should because they are good for you but they won't fix this..."


#9

Go to the best retinologist you can in your area, or outside if necessary. You need someone who knows the most about this to assess the situation. Most regular eye md/optometrists etc. are not competent and don't have the necessary tools to help you.


#10

Hi static 192, it seems your post caught someone's eye after a year plus! I hope your eyes are okay and you are keeping a check on them. Reversing is not likely, but good control will certainly stop progression. Let us know how you're doing.


#11

Yes, yes, yes, go to the best specialist you can find. If you have to drive 100 miles to get there, then do so!
I was treated for retinopathy 12 years ago by a general ophthalmologist who sort of missed the ball and today cannot drive because of it. Thankfully, I can read, do computer stuff, and wave to my friends across the street.
Do not take this lightly.


#12

BINGO! This is the correct answer, the ONLY correct answer. Well, as well as your control.

Having spent the last 4 years and over $100,000 treating my retinopathy I can tell you with some certainty that this is the same as being a little pregnant. You MUST strive for normal BG (70 to 100) to truly affect the corrections you seek. Note that I said strive for normal. You DO NOT want this to progress. Get to aa retinologist a.s.a.p. and double you efforts at control. No matter how good you thiink you are doing with it. Yes, you can reverse all of the "opathies", but don't wait for them to develop. Reversal is a very, very slow and painstaking process. Takke my word for it. It is like wathing a gllacier melt.