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Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The Subtle Ways That Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Your diabetes can slowly be robbing you of your eyesight and you may not notice until the damage is severe. Having regular eye exams is important to stay ahead of any eye disease if you have diabetes, even if it’s well under control. Here is how this disease affects your eyes and the treatments available to you.

Diabetes Targets the Blood Vessels in Your Eyes

The tiny blood vessels in your eyes can become weak and less flexible. They normally expand and contract easily as the blood flow through them fluctuates. Blood vessels damaged by diabetes may stay constricted, increasing the blood pressure in your eye. Other vessels swell, allowing blood to pool in them. This lack of flexibility is what hurts your vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy

There are two ways in which diabetes can damage your retina. Each can become so serious as to cause a loss of vision.

Nonproliferative retinopathy – Damaged blood vessels on the retina swell and let the fluid pool in them instead of smoothly moving through. This increases the pressure in the blood vessel. Fluid leaks out onto the surface of the retina under this pressure. The fluid builds up on the retina, blocking the light that hits it. Initially, your vision will become blurry. As more fluid collects on the retina, you’ll begin to notice dark blotches and shadows in your vision.

Proliferative retinopathy – In later stages of diabetic retinopathy, new blood vessels develop on the retina. These vessels are small and weak. Some will produce scar tissue that pulls on the retina. When enough scar tissue develops, your retina can be pulled away from the back of your eye causing blindness.

Symptoms are Slow to Develop

The damage to your retina is slow and you may not notice any symptoms until you start to lose your vision. When symptoms do happens, they may include:

  • blurry vision
  • gray or black blotches
  • tiny floaters in your vision
  • pressure in the eyes
  • aching in your eyes

Treatment of Diabetic Eye Damage

Diabetic retinopathy cannot be cured, but your doctor can slow down the progress and your loss of vision. Frequent eye exams to catch the disease early will prevent it from affecting your eyesight. Some of the treatment options available include:

  • laser surgery to dry up the fluid that has leaked out onto the retina
  • reduction of the pressure on the retina by removing some of the gel within the eyeball
  • medication injections into the eye to limit the development of the new, weak blood vessels

These treatments cannot restore any vision that has already been lost. By controlling the pressure in your eye, the development of new blood vessels and the fluid on the retina, your doctor can prevent any future vision loss. For more information, visit sites like http://www.drgrantmdretinalspecialist.com.

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Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Treatment Options For Urinary Incontinence After Childbirth

Giving birth is a miraculous moment in a woman’s life, but pregnancy and childbirth can also cause some embarrassing postpartum problems. A common problem that women experience after giving birth is urinary incontinence. Delivering a child vaginally can cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken and the nerves that control the bladder can be damaged, and as a result a woman may experience urine leakage. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence after giving birth, don’t be afraid to talk to your ob/gyn about the problem– there are many things that can be done to correct urinary incontinence. Some common treatments for urinary incontinence after childbirth include:

Pelvic Muscle Exercises

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can go a long way in ending urinary incontinence. These exercises involve squeezing the muscles in your genital area as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. For the best results, consult your ob/gyn or a nurse to learn the proper way to do these exercises. Your doctor may also refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist for further treatment.

Medication

There are several types of prescription medications that can help with urinary incontinence. They typically work by either relaxing the bladder muscles or preventing the bladder from having spasms. 

Weight Loss

Being overweight places extra pressure on the bladder and the muscles around it, which can contribute to incontinence problems. It is natural to be carrying extra weight after giving birth, but your doctor may be able to help you develop a healthy eating and exercise plan to help you lose weight and hopefully fix the urinary incontinence issue.

Bladder Retraining

Bladder retraining involves using the bathroom at set times throughout the day before you feel the urge to empty your bladder. Over time, as you gain more control you can increase the length of time between when you use the bathroom. 

Surgery

If urinary incontinence is disrupting your life and you do not respond well to other treatment options, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem. Two types of surgery are typically used to fix urinary incontinence- sling procedures and bladder neck suspension procedures. A sling procedure involves your surgeon using synthetic mesh or your own tissue to create a sling under your bladder neck for support and to help keep the urethra closed so urine does not leak out. During a bladder neck suspension procedure, your surgeon will use sutures to reinforce the bladder neck and urethra to prevent them from sagging and allowing urine to leak. To find out more, speak with a company like Western Branch Center for Women.

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