Health Tips


Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a general term for all disorders of the retina caused by diabetes. There are two major types of retinopathy: nonproliferative and proliferative.

Nonproliferative retinopathy is the most common form of retinopathy. In nonproliferative retinopathy, capillaries in the back of the eye balloon and form pouches. Nonproliferative retinopathy can move through three stages (mild, moderate, and severe), as more and more blood vessels become blocked. Although retinopathy does not usually cause vision loss at this stage, the capillary walls may lose their ability to control the passage of substances between the blood and the retina.

Fluid can leak into the part of the eye where focusing occurs, the macula. When the macula swells with fluid, a condition called macula edema, vision blurs and can be lost entirely. Although nonproliferative retinopathy usually does not require treatment, macular edema must be treated, but fortunately treatment is usually effective at stopping and sometimes reversing vision loss.
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Diabetes and Eye Problems

You may have heard that diabetes causes eye problems and may lead to blindness. People with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes.

But most people who have diabetes have nothing more than minor eye disorders. You can keep minor problems minor. And if you do develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away.

Eyesight Insight
To understand what happens in eye disorders, it helps to understand how the eye works. The eye is a ball covered with a tough outer membrane. The covering in front is clear and curved. This curved area is the cornea, which focuses light while protecting the eye.
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Diabetes Education Center

Over the past eighteen months there have been many changes at the Central Okanagan Diabetes Program (our name is one). The most significant change is related to program flow and patient education.

The program format is designed with the objective of having newly diagnosed patients seen in the clinic within two weeks of receipt of the referral, assuming that the patient is available for the offered group session.

One of the program objectives states “Diabetes Education is equally accessible across the community”. To achieve this goal, we have added two program sites, the Westbank Health Centre, on Mondays and Wednesdays and the May Bennett Centre in Rutland, on Thursdays and Fridays.
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