I saw my ophthalmologist a few weeks ago (I go every 6 months), where things were as usual "perfect" with my eyes as far as diabetes damage, e.g. retinopathy. She always says “Your eyes are like a babies!”. I always leave feeling so good, especially when about 15 years ago, another ophthalmologist had diagnosed me with retinopathy that he felt was not reversible. To lose my eyesight is something I think as diabetics we all cringe at – I mean – listening to Glee is fine – but to not visually see it?– bummer city (where is the noose to put around my neck if I can’t see??). I know when I was told the news by the previous ophthalmologist, I think it made me decide to take control of my diabetes and I started with MDI (multiple dosage injections) and more frequent blood sugar testing.
The funny thing a diabetic friend of mine, Doris J Dickson, after hearing about my latest visit to the eye doctor, sent me a recent article that states that having good blood sugars isn’t really what stops you from getting retinopathy. There is a certain molecule called SHP-1 that is actually what predicts if you will have this eye disease. The higher the level of SHP-1 the more prone you are to developing retinopathy. You can read more about this at medpageTODAY.
This week I went to see the optician (I do this every 2 years as my husbands medical coverage covers the cost of the exam) also I’ve been having eye aches and my eyesight seemed abit blurry in my right eye. I figured it was again due to my lenses being too strong in my glasses since I’ve had this problem before (one time my eyesight changed in 6 months – expensive lense change for two of my Elton John frames – I wasn’t pleased about that – but I didn’t enjoy “headache city”). Believe it or not with age my eyesight is actually improving, and this isn’t an uncommon thing she told me. Once again, I now have a weaker prescription for my glasses and I will soon be singing the song of “I can see clearly now" (I have to always throw something musical into my blogs don't I?). I’m very lucky though that I only need glasses really for driving or when I go bar hopping.
When she was going through the different lenses to find out which one I saw more clearly with (you know the routine as they flick through the lenses over one eye – “One or two?” – “Which one is clearer?”). She told me that one of the reasons for my weak eyesight in my right eye … I have a cataract developing. I was SHOCKED! The optician said that this was nothing to be alarmed about at my age, it's to be expected, but I have to admit that I thought it was something that happened to someone much older then me! She said that diabetes does play a small role in this happening, but she says it's nothing to be too overly concerned about. Eventually if it causes problems with my seeing clearly, a simple procedure of replacing the lense cap will be performed, and vision will be restored. I did tell her that my Mum has been diagnosed with glaucoma a few years ago, and that is another hereditary disease that I may get from my Mum’s side of the family (my Great-grandmother was diagnosed as having diabetes in her 80’s). The optician admitted that of the two, cataracts is the less serious of eye diseases. Does it make me feel better her saying this? Sort of, but still it scares me abit.
What is freaking me out abit is why my ophthalmologist hadn’t mentioned it to me before, as her office uses more advanced machines in detecting eye problems! I guess you know what my burning question will be for her when I see her next April. I’m even thinking of maybe switching to a new ophthalmologist because of this, incase she’s perhaps missed other problems in my eyes. Would you feel the same way as I do or am I just being silly?