Diabetic Retinopathy: Risks

Increasing Risk

The Centers for Disease Control has recently turned its attention to the increasing rates of diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes in which the blood vessels of the eyes are damaged resulting in potential vision loss. The study, published in Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that those with diabetes require more comprehensive eye care. 31.6% men and 25.7% of women over age 40 who have diabetes are estimated to have diabetic retinopathy.

Study authors intend their findings to guide policy makers as they oversee the country’s eye care services and rehabilitation for the estimated 8% of the U.S. population with diabetes.

Source: WebMD.com

Bright Light Before Bedtime

Time spent in bright artificial light before bedtime has been linked to heightened blood pressure and an increased diabetes risk.

Researchers have found that nighttime exposure to light can disrupt melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles as well as blood pressure.  The study shows that being in bright light opposed to dim light caused the body to produce less melatonin.  Participants who were exposed to bright light during typical sleep hours produced an average of 50% less melatonin.

According to a news release from the Endocrine Society: “Given that chronic light suppression of melatonin has been hypothesized to increase relative risk for some types of cancer and that melatonin receptor genes have been linked to type 2 diabetes, our findings could have important health implications for shift workers who are exposed to indoor light at night over the course of many years,” says study author Joshua Gooley.

Source: http://www.healthfinder.gov

Published: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Of course, trying to read or work on the computer in low light situations can contribute to eye disease can can harm your vision. Since sleep is important to eye health and health in general and is so key to keeping those dark circles away, maybe it is time to consider becoming a morning person!

Type II Diabetes Patients at Risk for Dry Eye Syndrome

A new study shows that early diagnosis and treatment of dry eye syndrome in diabetic patients may help prevent problems such as scarring and perforation of the cornea and secondary bacterial infection.

Scientists at the Yazd Diabetes Research Center evaluated 199 type 2 diabetic patients for dry eye syndrome and other factors.  Of the 199 subjects, 108 patients (54.3%) were found to suffer from dry eye syndrome.

Although dry eye syndrome was more common in older and female patients, this association was not significant.  However, researchers did find a significant association between dry eye syndrome and duration of diabetes.   Researchers also noted that dry eye syndrome was more frequent in diabetic patients with diabetic retinopathy.

Study authors concluded that dry eye syndrome in diabetic patients may be a contributor for a variety of corneal complications including superficial punctuate keratopathy, trophic ulceration, and persistent epithelial defect.   The authors recommended that examination for dry eye should be an integral part of the assessment of diabetic eye disease.

Learn more about natural relief for dry eyes

Published:  Prevalence of dry eye syndrome and diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetic patients, Manaviat, et al, BMC Ophthalmology 2008, 8:10doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-10.