Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness. Now there is a non-invasive treatment that can help to control this condition
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and glucose in the body isn’t used as fuel for energy but stays in the blood instead. High blood sugar levels can cause a person to feel thirsty, urinate more than usual and experience lethargy.
Untreated, diabetes could cause many long term health problems such as kidney failure, lower limb amputation, cardiovascular disease and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the retina located in the back of the eye. Undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause blindness.
Damage is inflicted on the retina because the high amounts of sugar in the blood cause tiny bulges in the blood vessels in the retina, which may leak blood. Left untreated, there could be significant bleeding of the retina. This can lead to the development of scar tissue and new blood vessels that are weak and leaky causing a loss of vision.
The current treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include lasers to seal or destroy abnormal and leaking blood vessels in the eye. In select cases, surgery on the eye may be performed in the case of retinal detachment (tear in the retina). Additionally, there are also injection therapies that can help shrink the new blood vessels.
Other than these treatments, lifestyle changes that could help prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy include taking all your prescribed medications, sticking to a balanced diet, regular exercise, controlling your hypertension and avoiding any alcohol and smoking.
Help is here
In May, a drug called Lipanthyl® Penta (fenofibrate) 145mg was pronounced to have the ability to slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes.
Fenofibrate, the active ingredient in Lipanthyl®, is used in conjunction with a change in lifestyle such as regular exercise, a low fat diet and weight loss, to lower the amount of fats in the blood. Lipanthyl® could be applicable for type 2 diabetics who have excessive amounts of fats in the bloodstream such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
Current treatments of diabetic retinopathy include invasive procedures that may become quite costly. According to The Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study published in The Lancet -a UK medical journal, it was found that treatment with fenofibrate lowered the need for laser treatment by 37 percent for diabetic retinopathy.
Additionally, a FIELD ophthalmology sub-study found that there was a 79 percent reduction in the progression of pre-existing mild to moderate diabetic retinopathy in patients.
One Lipanthyl® tablet contains 145mg of fenofibrate and this is taken once daily at any time of the day. This tablet can be taken with or without food.
Along with taking your medications as advised by the doctor and making lifestyle changes, it is pertinent for any diabetic over the age of 12 to go for annual eye screenings. The longer someone has diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. This is why it’s important to go for those eye screenings to detect any abnormalities and seek treatment for problems spotted early on.
Always speak to your medial provider if you’re thinking of switching any medication in your course of prevention or treatment. This is in order to ensure that your condition is managed properly to prevent any untoward circumstances. You should also speak to your doctor to control the symptoms of diabetes and thus curb the progression of diabetic retinopathy.