Eye Problems and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, regular visits to your ophthalmologist for eye exams are important to avoid eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range (90-130 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after a meal). It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to fully get back to normal. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

The retina is a group of specialized cells that convert light as it enters though the lens into images. The eye nerve or optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the vascular (blood-vessel related) complications related to diabetes. This diabetes eye problem is due to damage of small vessels and is called a “microvascular complication.” Kidney disease and nerve damage due to diabetes are also microvascular complications. Large blood vessel damage (also called macrovascular complications) includes complications like heart disease and stroke.

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Glaucoma and Trabeculoplasty

Glaucoma is not just one eye disease, but a group of eye conditions resulting in optic nerve damage, which causes loss of vision. Abnormally high pressure inside your eye (intraocular pressure) is in most cases the cause of this damage.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and can damage your vision so gradually you may not notice any loss of vision until the disease is at an advanced stage. The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, has no noticeable signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss.

Early diagnosis and treatment can minimize or prevent optic nerve damage and limit glaucoma-related vision loss. It’s important to get your eyes examined regularly, and make sure your eye doctor measures your intraocular pressure.

Laser trabeculoplasty uses a very focused beam of light to treat the drainage angle of the eye. This surgery makes it easier for fluid to flow out of the front part of the eye, decreasing pressure in the eye. There are two types of laser trabeculoplasty: Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) uses a laser to open up the drainage angle of the eye. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) uses a lower-level laser to open the drainage angle of the eye.

For laser trabeculoplasty eye drops are put in the person’s eye before or after the procedure to decrease the amount of fluid in the eyes and prevent elevation in eye pressure immediately after laser treatment. A special microscope (slit lamp) and lens (goniolens) are then used to guide the laser beam to the canals (trabecular meshwork) where fluid drains from the eye. The doctor makes small burns in the trabecular meshwork. Some people feel a heat sensation in the eye during the laser surgery.

L. Jay Katz, MD, provided an update on the forthcoming randomized clinical trial comparing selective laser trabeculoplasty with topical medical therapy using prostaglandin analogues as initial monotherapy for glaucoma. According to Dr. Katz, he and his fellow researchers found the two treatment options to be similarly efficacious out to 1 year.

Glaucoma can affect any age group including newborns, infants, children and the elderly. According to statistics provided by the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over four million people in the US suffer from glaucoma, of which only 50{0730eed075b45d9e50c00d6cd42dd08773e0164f29a45151808bf89051290974} are aware of their condition. Glaucoma presents a greater public health concern than cataracts because the blindness caused by glaucoma is irreversible. Thus, early detection through comprehensive eye examinations is the key to protect against glaucoma damage.

At Laser Locators we carry the top name surgical and diagnostic ophthalmic equipment manufacturers you can trust, like Acon, Nidek, Lumenis and more for preforming all of your precise ophthalmic procedures. Contact us at www.laserlocators.com  or call 1-877-924-2020 and let one of our expert equipment locators help you today.

Macular Degeneration and Acetyl-L-carnitine

Macular Degeneration is a condition in which the central part of the back of the eye loses blood circulation.  It is considered a natural aging process.  There is a breakdown of retinal pigment epithelium cells in the macular region.  As the disease progresses, central vision diminishes.  It is believed that this breakdown may be due to a lack of nutrients being supplied to the region. Additional studies have found a genetic link to this disease.  Treatment can range from better nutritional management, sometimes to include a tablet containing the primary minerals and vitamins that are found lacking in many macular degenerated patients.

According to the American Health Assistance Foundation, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Americans 60 years of age and older. The disease may destroy your sharp, fine-detail, “straight ahead” vision required to do tasks such as reading and driving. Acetyl-L-carnitine alone or in combination with other nutritional supplements may reduce the risk of a person developing macular degeneration. Speak to your doctor before using acetyl-L-carnitine supplements for any health problems.

Acetyl-L-carnitine, one of the many forms of carnitine, is found naturally in your body. The nutrient transports fatty acids to cells’ mitochondria for the generation of metabolic energy. The antioxidant property of acetyl-L-carnitine may protect the eye’s retina from free radical damage. Free radicals are the damaging compounds in your body that may even cause cell death.

A study conducted by Italian researchers and published in May 2005 in “Ophthalmologica” found that supplementation with a proprietary blend of 200 mg acetyl-L-carnitine, 780 mg omega-3 fatty acids and 20 mg coenzyme Q10 daily may improve and subsequently stabilize visual functions in patients affected by early age-related macular degeneration. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted for 12 months in 106 patients with macular degeneration. According to researchers, this combination of nutrients may also improve the area of the eye’s fundus covered by drusen, yellow or white deposits in the retina of the eye

Metabolic therapy, a combination of omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q10 and acetyl-L-carnitine may be the first choice for treating age-related macular degeneration, according to a Hungarian study published in December 2007. According to researchers, both clinical visual field and visual acuity in people with macular degeneration may show improvement after three or four days of treatment with this metabolic therapy. The efficacy of this combination of nutrients has been proved clinically.

Acetyl-L-carnitine supplements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and purity. Over-the-counter acetyl-L-carnitine supplements may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. A study published in June-July 2011 in “Revue Neurologique” found that acetyl-L-carnitine treatment may cause side effects such as diarrhea and fish odor syndrome, a genetic disorder associated with an offensive body odor.

At Laser Locators we carry the top name surgical and diagnostic ophthalmic equipment manufacturers you can trust, like Acon, Nidek, Lumenis and more for preforming all of your precise ophthalmic procedures. Contact us at www.laserlocators.com  or call 1-877-924-2020 and let one of our expert equipment locators help you today.