By V. Hauschild, MPH, U. S. Army Public Health Center
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Diabetes is a disease that disrupts the body’s ability to turn food into energy and can damage major organs such as the heart, kidneys and eyes. Diabetes is a leading reason for preventable blindness among adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control plus Prevention, many who develop diabetes do not realize it until organ harm has occurred – so maintaining healthy habits and having routine health and vision check-ups are key.

What is Diabetes?

Normally, your body breaks down most of the meals you eat into sugar, known as glucose. And when your own blood sugar goes up, your body releases insulin. Insulin lets the blood sugar levels into your body’s cells for use as energy.

With diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use it as well as it should in order to regulate the glucose in the blood. This damages the particular blood vessels, which are critical to organ functioning. Specifically for the eyes, the damage to the particular microvasculature can have severe consequences for your vision.

There are three main types associated with diabetes:
• Type 1, an autoimmune condition that causes the body to stop producing insulin, most frequently identified in children plus young adults;
• Type 2, the particular most common and avoidable form, where the body gradually becomes less able to use insulin properly, so it cannot keep blood sugars at normal levels; and
• Gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy plus generally resolves within 6 to 12 weeks after delivery.

The vast majority (90–95 percent) of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. It develops over many years, so it is usually diagnosed in adults but is now being diagnosed more frequently in children, teens and youngsters.

Symptoms of diabetes may include frequent urination, a sense of becoming thirstier and/or hungrier than usual, becoming fatigued easily, unexplained weight loss, numbness or tingling within the hands or even feet, sores that heal more slowly than regular and blurry vision. You may not have symptoms early on, or if you do, they may not include visual symptoms, even if adverse changes are usually occurring in your eyes.

How serious will be diabetes?

A Type 1 or 2 diabetes diagnosis may require termination of continued military service. As such, routine Military health surveillance data in the current Health of the Force report (page 67), shows diabetes is rarely diagnosed inside active-duty Soldiers.

But the CDC has found that this gradually developing disease gets much a lot more common because we age – along with risks increasing over age group 40. Based on the CDC:

• Diabetes in U. S. adults has doubled in the last 20 years.
• More than 37 million Oughout. S. grownups now possess diabetes, and 1 within 5 perform not know they have it.
• Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the particular United States.
• Diabetes may be the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness.
• More compared to 1 in 3 U. S. grown ups have prediabetes, where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Though lifestyle changes have been proven to prevent the onset associated with type two diabetes, 8 in 10 adults do not know they have got prediabetes.
• High blood pressure plus cholesterol may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
• Pregnant women and people who smoke are also at higher risk.

Damage to the eye
The Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Branch of the Circumstance. S. Army Public Health Center is especially concerned that diabetes will be the leading reason for preventable loss of sight among You. S. adults. To prevent blindness, the TSVCRB encourages everyone – especially those diagnosed with diabetes – in order to undergo program periodic eye examinations.

Diabetic retinopathy, which is usually damage to the particular eye caused by diabetes, happens when high blood sugar causes the small blood ships in the back of the eye to leak or even close off. This causes the retina, the light-sensing posterior part of the particular eye, in order to swell and cause visible impairment.
The particular extra fluid not only changes the shape from the internal vision structures that will focuses light for clear vision, but the blood can also cause retinal detachments plus increased attention pressure, leading to glaucoma, a condition that leads to deterioration associated with the optic nerve. Uncontrolled diabetes may also cause the particular lens in the front part of the eye to swell or become cloudy, developing into a cataract.

People identified as having type 2 diabetes should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist or optometrist as soon as possible to search for any changes such as diabetic retinopathy. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes should be evaluated within 5 years of the diagnosis. After initial evaluation, regular eye exams are key for early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy plus other related complications.

When they occur, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include—
• Spots or floaters in your own vision.
• Blurred eyesight.
• Fluctuations or changes in vision.
• Dark spots or even missing areas of eyesight.
• Vision loss (acuity, clarity and field associated with vision).

However, diabetic retinopathy may not show earlier symptoms – so analysis may be made by a good ophthalmologist or optometrist during a routine eye exam.

“Routine eye examinations are important even for those who have no symptoms, ” says Navy Cmdr. Kyle Dohm, an optometrist working for the APHC’s TSVCRB. “Eye doctors are unique in that they are usually able in order to directly view the micro blood boats inside your eyes during a good eye examination. Often times we can see early signs of disease, to include diabetes, and then educate our patients on appropriate interventions, often working with other members of the patient’s healthcare team for the best results. ”

Most associated with the eyesight and vision damage done by diabetes is preventable if detected early sufficient.

Dohm says the particular American Optometric Association recommends adults with no symptoms or even high danger factors receive a program eye examination at least once every 2 years. For those 65 and older, the frequency must be annually.

Of those along with diabetes, African American, Hispanic, and indigenous populations are at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Other high risk factors include personal or family history associated with eye illness, high blood pressure, use of medications with ocular side effects, contact lens wear, plus those who have permanently reduced vision in one eye.
Individuals with these high-risk factors ought to seek examinations at minimum yearly, or more regularly as determined by their eyes doctor.

To prevent diabetes or even manage the severity of effects such as diabetic retinopathy, it is definitely critically essential to have regular health check-ups with your primary care manager for the overall wellness, as well as schedule eye exams by your eye doctor to maintain good vision and ocular health.

If you are diagnosed along with diabetes, treatment consists of focusing on a healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, exercise plus weight control, and also medication in some instances. The best course will become based on your doctor or healthcare group in partnership with you.

Here are some useful resource links:
• CDC Diabetes Self-management Education and Support:
• CDC Diabetes information:
• National Eye Institute – Diabetic Retinopathy:

The U. S. Military Public Wellness Center focuses on promoting healthy individuals, communities, animals, and workplaces through the particular prevention associated with disease, injury, and disability of Troops, retirees, family members, veterans, Army civilian employees, and animals through population-based monitoring, investigations, plus technical consultations.

NOTE: The mention of any non-federal entity and/or its products is for informational purposes just, and not in order to be construed or interpreted, in any kind of manner, since federal endorsement of that non-federal entity or even its products.

Date Taken: 11. 07. 2022
Date Posted: 11. 07. 2022 16: 19
Story ID: 432824
Location: US

Web Views: 51
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