Patient/Family Education Teaching Guide: Health Essay

Topic/Purpose: This handout will describe delectable eye disease and complications All people with diabetes need to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year. Diabetes is a serious disease that causes problems like blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputations (Pottering, 1997). But by taking good care of yourself through diet, exercise, and special medications. You can control diabetes. Diabetic eye disease, a complication of diabetes, can be treated before vision loss occurs. What is Diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with Diabetes may face as a complication of this disease (Madeline Plus [PM), 2005). All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. Diabetic eye disease may Include: *Damage to the blood vessels In the retina *Clouding of the eyes lens *Increase In fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision (Pottering, 1997). What is the most common diabetic eye disease? Damage to the blood vessels in the retina (reiteration) Is the most common eye asses related to diabetes (National Institute of Health [NIH], 2005).

Blood vessels in the eye may swell and leak fluid or abnormal new blood vessels may grow on the surface of the retina. These changes may result In villous loss or blindness. What are the symptoms? Often there are none in the early stages of the disease. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. There is no pain involved. Blurred vision may occur when the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision swells fro the leaking fluids. If the new vessels have grown on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into he eye, blocking your vision (NIH, 2005).

The disease may progress a long way without symptoms. This is why regular eye examinations for people with diabetes are important. 1 OFF HOW IS It If you have diabetes you should have your eyes examined at least once a year. Your eye should be dilated during the exam (Pottering, 1997). This means eye drops are placed in your eyes to enlarge your pupils. This will allow the eye care professional to see more of the inside of your eyes to check for signs of the disease. Can it be treated? Yes. Your eye care professional may suggest laser surgery.

This is a strong light beam that is aimed into the retina to shrink the abnormal vessels. Laser surgery has been proven to reduce the risk of severe vision loss from this type of eye disease by approximately 90% (NIH, 2005). One thing to remember is laser surgery cannot restore your vision once it is gone. That is why it is so important to have eye exams, which include the dilation of the retina, on a yearly basis. Can it be prevented? Not totally, but you can reduce your risk by better controlling o blood sugar levels (Pottering, 1997).

This will slow the onset and progression of the disease and lower the need for the laser surgery for the more severe cases. How common are other eye diseases? If you have diabetes, you can also be at risk for other eye diseases. Some studies have shown you are twice as likely to get a cataract as a person who does not have the disease (NIH, 2005). Cataracts can also develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes (NIH). These are usually treated surgically as well. What can you do to protect your vision?

Find and treat the disease early is the best way to control eye disease before it can cause vision loss or blindness (Pottering, 1997). Again, this is why the yearly eye exams are so important. References: Madeline Plus (2005). Medical dictionary. Retrieved January 3, 2006, from http:// www. Midlines. Gob National Institute of Health (2005). Diabetic reiteration. Retrieved January 3, 2006, from http://www. Nil. Gob Pottering, D. (1997). Interdisciplinary patient education. Retrieved January 3, 2006, from www. Standards/COMMON

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