Knowing what you can do to improve your outcome is critical.
Here is Oliver’s story.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes n 1978 when I was 31 years of age.
I have always kept myself informed and up to date regarding developments for treatment of diabetes and the complications arising therefrom including eye damage.
I carefully manage my diet, exercise daily and monitor my blood sugars to tailor my insulin requirements accordingly.
Over the years there have been advances and simplification in the checking of blood sugar levels. Gone are the days when a blood glucose test took 5 minutes and required repeated needle use, nowadays a scan takes only 1 second with a reader and no needle use.
Throughout my life I have had good sight and began attending check-ups with my ophthalmologist 18 years ago. Now I have six monthly appointments to see my ophthalmologist and have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy in both my eyes. However, this has not impinged on my life style in any way, except for night time driving when the glare of headlights can be blinding.
My ophthalmologist tells that there is some age related deterioration in vision. I need spectacles for reading and driving only.
I also attended the public eye screening programme where I was offered eye injections in one eye but my ophthalmologist tells me that this not immediately necessary.
Because of my diligence over the years in adhering to diet, monitoring my blood sugar levels and injecting insulin as required the diabetes did not interfere with my work life/social actives/hobbies in any way. The fact that my work colleagues and family were aware of my condition did give me confidence over the years. My work did not involve manual/physical activity and this may have been an advantage in managing my condition.
I regularly read and keep up to date with the diabetes population through a moderated online forum which enhances my awareness of the complications associated with diabetes and the different resolutions people pursue. I believe there is good awareness in the population of the complication of diabetes. However, because of the usually quicker diagnosis and treatment of type 1 diabetes the complications can be minimal. I believe with type 2 diabetes the symptoms are usually milder and less severe possibly leading to a delay in diagnoses and complications including eye damage which may have set-in before treatment starts, and this damage may be irreversible.
With the advent of internet the diabetic patient can be better informed of research and progression in treatments.
I believe regular attendance with endocrinologist and ophthalmologist is vital for happy, healthy living.