Diabetic Retinopathy Causes
Diabetic retinopathy causes can vary and after many years of being Diabetic the damaging effects of the disease, despite good control, may affect you. Factors that can increase the likelihood of damaging effects on the eyes include the following:
- High blood glucose. Constantly raised blood glucose levels are damaging for the body and can affect the circulation to all parts of the body including the heart, organs and skin.
Ask your doctor what your “long term glucose control” (also called HbA1C)test shows.
- Smoking. The best thing any diabetic who smokes can do to help their overall health is to stop as soon as possible. Smoking has been shown to increase the damaging effects of diabetes quite significantly. Stopping will be beneficial no matter how long you have been a smoker.
- Blood pressure. Diabetics also commonly have high blood pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure can increase the damaging effects of diabetes. Some of the damaging effects of diabetes on the eye can be reduced with good consistent blood pressure control.
- High cholesterol. Many studies have shown an added benefit for diabetics in having lower levels and the right balance of cholesterol in their blood. This test may have been done in your diabetic clinic and you may have received dietary advice or medication.
- Pregnancy. It is especially important to have your eyes checked if you are diabetic and become pregnant. In patients with pre-existing diabetic retinopathy, there can be worsening of the disease during pregnancy.