If a person has developed diabetes, the best thing they can do about diabetic retinopathy is to first take steps to keep their blood glucose levels under control and as close to normal as possible. Proper diet/nutrition in addition to closely monitoring blood glucose levels will go a long way to reduce the progression and impact of diabetic retinopathy. In a long-term study following The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, it was discovered that retinopathy was less likely to progress among those with diabetes if they maintained close control of their blood glucose levels. Also, people that maintained their blood glucose within the near normal range had reduced their chances of developing macular edema and other eye diseases by up to seventy five percent.
• See an ophthalmologist - During retinopathy's initial stage most people will not notice any changes in their vision, so scheduling regular visits to an ophthalmologist, and having your eyes examined at least once a year is a very wise move.
• Type 1 Diabetics - For those with type 1 diabetes the first recommended examination is within three to five years after diagnosis once the patient has reached ten years or older and then annually from there.
• Type 2 Diabtics - For those with type 2 diabetes the first recommended examination is at the time of diagnosis and annually. For women who are diabetic and are or expect to become pregnant they should be examined prior to conception and during the first trimester. It will then be a matter of her physicians discretion pending the results of the first trimester exam.
• Control blood pressure - High blood pressure (hypertension) can add extra pressure to the walls of already weakened blood vessels causing them to leak or expand and rupture. Taking steps to keep your blood pressure under control can help to keep retinopathy from progressing.