Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. It can cause “blind spots,” blurry vision, and vision loss. Vision may change from day to day, or even from morning to evening. This “fluctuating vision” can interfere with many, if not most, everyday activities. Early detection, appropriate and ongoing treatment, and the availability of specialized low vision and vision rehabilitation services can help people with diabetic retinopathy live productive and satisfying lives.
Common perceptions of vision loss and those who experience it are often burdened with historical, destructive myths and stereotypes. In an age that has seen visually impaired inventors, explorers, corporate leaders, and politicians, many still believe that individuals with visual impairments are helpless and utterly dependent on others to get through life. Indeed, one careful look around reveals the extent to which visually impaired individuals conduct independent, fulfilling, self-supporting lives, fully integrated into society’s mainstream.
The responsibilities of coping with diabetes are with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the only reward for diligent diabetes management is avoiding complications—an important but hardly inspiring incentive. It’s understandable that the demands of self-management will get to you from time to time, and it may seem that family members and friends don’t really understand. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize this stress and emotional strain.
- Education: The more accurate and updated information you have about diabetes and visual impairment, the better equipped you will be to meet the challenges they present. Knowing the facts will help you discard harmful stigmas and stereotypes and provide you with an avenue to the new and advanced treatments and equipment.
- Stress management: Emotions also have physical effects; stress raises blood pressure and blood glucose levels, and that’s a serious matter if you have diabetes. In addition to meditation, yoga, long hot baths or walking in nature you may wish to contact your local health care provider regarding Diabetic Education programmes with ongoing support groups that help people to reduce stress through connection with others who face the same sorts of problems.