Retinopathy and exercise

Hi All ,
So have been diagnosed with most dreaded Retinopathy last week vision is still 20/20 , it seems in Pre Proliferate stage ,my retina doc recommended laser for right eye ,left he says looks ok for now … In long term he says i need to maintain my glucose level very well …which i am trying to keep as much as i can (last H1BAC -5.8 and avg glucometer reading for last 30 days is 6.0) , i have query i have recently joined gym and doing work outs not very heavy weights but moderate …My retina doc said i can do any exercise no issues … but just wanted to check with fellow members their opinion ?


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I have severe retinopathy in both eyes and have had so many treatments of varying types that I cannot even count them anymore. I have never had any restrictions on physical activity due to my retinopathy.

The only time I was ever cautioned about excessive activity or heavy lifting was after my vitrectomy’s and cataract surgeries. And, that was only for a brief time until I was healed from those surgeries.

When I began treatment my retinologist really was not very optimistic. He did great work, but he credits my tight control was having made the biggest difference in saving what eyesight I do have. Keep up the good work on your A1c. I’ve been able to keep mine in the fives which has helped with a number of issues including my retinopathy.

Go enjoy your gym membership.


Thanks Randy5 , that’s huge relief to know as i found workouts a big stress busters and best way to get down my BG , i screwed my R’pathy by bringing down my H1Bac suddenly from 11 to 5.8 with in 3 months…with LCHF , exercise and med’s …

But what ever is done is done …now i am determined to keep no’s in close control and was little scared if exercise is removed from the arsenal it will be uphill task …good to know that i can still do exercise …
I have read on forum keeping BG as close as normal stop and sometimes retrogress R’pathy …
Thanks again and wish you good luck…

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I was told no heavy lifting. No jiggling like jogging or intensive aerobics. Walking, cycling, stair machine, small weights are all okay. But I was told this seven years ago when my eyes first started to have problems. I have been stable for a few years now. I move furniture when needed. No problems so far.

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Do you use a pump or regular needle to inject insulin?

I am on MDI. I’m really not interested in a pump. Between my eyesight and my neuropathy I have a unique way of mis-entering information into devices like that. Aside from that, nothing else about a pump truly excites me. I would be for more interested in a CGM. And I am not sure how well I could manage that either.

I did almost the same thing with my A1c. I was diagnosed in October with an A1c of 12.3. I did not start insulin until almost Thanksgiving. My first labs were in February 2011 (four months after diagnosis) and my A1c was 5.7. Like you, I found out that’s not the best way to do it. But I wanted to get to normal levels as quickly as I could. That still took over a year to accomplish.

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Yeah seems sudden drop in A1C screws retina …i had my laser on my right eye yesterday it went well …my retinologist has asked to come back after 4 months for scans …
He was saying i need to keep BG as normal as i can to keep it stable and even said that if you are able to keep those numbers for long term than u might regress it at least to some extent …
so need to keep things in control …are you still on insulin ?

I’m not really sure what effect the rapid correction of blood sugars has specifically on the retina. I do know however, that it is definitely a shock to the system. For me, I just did not feel that I had a good option other than to bring my numbers down as rapidly as I could.

From speaking with other people who were diagnosed with a high A1c and existing complications, it does not appear that it matters how quickly you do it as it pertains to how you feel in that process. It is going to be a very painful and slow recovery.

You are right about keeping your blood sugar in a normal range and stable. It does make a big difference in how you can recover. And I suppose, depending on the actual damage, that to some degree retinopathy can be reversed.

It took three years before I actually saw a noticeable and dramatic improvement in my eyesight. But there is damage done beyond repair in the center of my vision. Therefore I do not have the ability to focus in on a single point. It also severely affects my depth perception. I can see the world around me, but beyond about 10 feet there is no detail. Even up close it is difficult. If I really want to see something I need to be within about 6 inches of it.

Yeah my retinologist told me that you should be having some background retinopathy which get worst when BG is again bring back to normal range, its basically fluctuations which cause most damage and that’s why they say bring it drown gradually like aeroplane :slight_smile: …it seems retina again start getting nourishment ,oxygen which worsens already deteriorated system … also there are certain associated with Retinopathy ,so like in my case my mother had T2D and she also had retinopathy so …i can partially blame this on genetics…
oh ok yeah if it is impacting center of retina then it’s quite a damaging … i hope they come up with some new drugs until then we only have tight BG control as only resort… TC …

Thanks Cinderfella for your inputs my retinologist said i can perform exercise and anything which keeps my blood sugar in control… hope you are feeling better now …

That is a pretty good explanation. It all makes perfect sense now that I understand all of this better. I doubt that it would have made a whole lot of difference however.

Given your airplane analogy I was flying without flaps or rudder. I was just trying to figure out how the hell I was supposed to do all of this. Besides, by the time I understood the perils of rapid descent, I had pretty much landed.

Yeah seems all odd against us collided togather …anyways how many lasers you had so far ? My retinologist want to do scan after 4 months …any idea what this course of treatment going?

I probably had at least six or eight office visits that were for laser treatments. Normally I have seen the number of laser pulses as the reference for treatment level. In that case, the number of pulses I received is anyone’s guess as far as I know. Some additional laser ring was done during two of my vitrectomy’s.

My retinologist (my third one) now says that laser treatment is pretty much in the past for me. He does not feel that it would either be safe or productive at this point. To quote him “Man, you have had a lot of laser.”

I have had scans done twice. The last one they did before moving me to a new therapy (more advanced injections) to determine that there was no proliferative retinopathy. That would have made the treatment irrelevant.

I had dye injected so that they could get a good picture of all the blood vessels and capillaries. It really is not any sort of treatment. It just gives the most comprehensive picture of what you actually have going on. They will use that information to determine treatment.

On average I went to the retinologist every six weeks for almost 5 years. I went every four weeks for over a year because of the injections I was receiving. So I would say that if you are supposed to go back for a follow-up in four months that you must be doing pretty well as far as your doctor is concerned.

yeah my retonologist did Dye injected (color angiography ) and OCT when i visited first time , regarding flashes i remember it lasted for 5-7 min max with 10-15 odd flashes … though don’t know the frequency and other parameters of laser …
yeah i hope it stops here though i am doing utmost from my end to keep BG and BP under control… i sincerely wish they come up with some new treatments soon…recently read that stem cells might come to rescue but it will take 5-10 years …

How bad your retina when your vision had first therapy? The doctor told that My father’s Retina only have 10 % posibility to recover after surgery, so thats why we have decided not to do that.

This may be an entirely different issue. Let me begin by saying heed your doctor’s instructions. A good retinologist is worth his weight in gold as far as I am concerned.

It sounds to me like there may be some danger of the retina detaching. Typically if this is the case, you must be very careful with your physical activity. If the retina separates you have really big problems that may not be easily solved if at all.

There was one occasion after a vitrectomy that they saw some potential separation at the outside edge of my right retina. They installed a small gas bubble in that eye. I had to keep my head tilted for several days so that the bubble would hold the edge down. Mind you, this was simply precautionary due to the possibility of separation. This is not something you want to take lightly.

Yes, its already detached but how bad is it I don’t know?
Here i attached my father’s USG.
Is it still possible to be glued or not?