Elder Care in Coon Rapids MN
If your elderly parent has diabetes, they could be at risk for diabetic eye disease if their condition is not properly managed. The primary eye disease that develops in people with diabetes is known as diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness and low vision among adults between the ages of 20 and 65.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels that nourish the nerve cells and tissue that surrounds the retina become damaged. Their vision may become so impaired that an elder care provider is needed to assist with tasks that they are no longer able to do by themselves. The best prevention against diabetic retinopathy is to manage their diabetes through a healthy diet and exercise. Another way is to arm yourself and the senior with as much information as possible on this condition.
Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
There are four stages of this eye disease to be aware of:
- Mild non-proliferative retinopathy: The tiny blood vessels in the retina will swell up into a balloon-like shape in small sections.
- Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy: The blood vessels that nourish the retina will eventually become blocked as the condition progresses.
- Severe non-proliferative retinopathy: More blood vessels become blocked, causing less blood to make its way to the retina. The retina will then signal to the body to produce more blood vessels.
- Proliferative retinopathy: This is the most advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy. The retina will send signals to the body to produce more blood vessels. Since the new blood vessels will grow abnormally, they can easily rupture and bleed, causing the retina to hemorrhage.
If your loved one has diabetic retinopathy, they may experience:
- Blurry or double vision
- Cloudy vision or streaks of red in their field of vision, or dark or floating spots in one or both eyes
- Blind or blank spots in their field of vision
- Flashing lights, which will indicate a retinal detachment
There are several ways eye specialists can diagnose diabetic retinopathy. A few of those ways include:
- Optical coherence tomography: This is a medical tomography that will allow the eye doctor to get a better image of the health of the retina.
- Fluorescein angiography: A special eye dye and camera are used to observe the blood flow to the retina.
- Amsler grid: Can detect any changes to the retina early.
The best way to prevent severe eye problems, like diabetic retinopathy is to get annual eye exams. These eye exams will be able to detect any changes to the eye or retina before they become too severe to treat.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Coon Rapids, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.