Diabetic Retinopathy

Retinopathy means a type of non-inflammatory damage which is done to the retina of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy refers to damage to the retina which has been caused by diabetes and will eventually lead to complete blindness if left untreated. Diabetes is a group of systemic metabolic diseases where the patient has elevated blood sugar levels because; either their body is not producing enough insulin (Type I diabetes), or their cells are not responding properly to the insulin which is being produced (Type II diabetes).

The high blood sugar levels in diabetics cause vascular damage to the eyes’ retinal blood vessels. The damaged vessels then leak fluid, restrict oxygen flow and blur vision. As the disease progresses, the eyes try to form new vessels on the surface of the retina which can also bleed and obscure vision even further.

It is estimated that eighty-percent of people who have had diabetes for ten years or more will develop this eye disease. The longer the person has diabetes, then the greater the chances are that they will develop diabetic retinopathy. Current research indicates that ninety-percent of all new cases could be reduced with proper regular monitoring and treatment for diabetics.

Current research shows that oxidation induced by glycation can cause massive damage to the eye. When sugar molecules inappropriately bind themselves to protein molecules, protein glycation occurs, distorting them and rendering them useless, and this process is known as protein cross-linking. Glycation also increases the oxidative processes as well, which may explain why they both increase at the same time as we age. High blood sugar levels increase glycation which may also account for the various different types of tissue damage associated with advanced cases of diabetes.

The vitreous humour within the eye is made up of a fine network of hyaluronan gel, collagen, proteoglycans and fibronectin; all of these substances are very susceptible to damage from free-radicals, brought about by sunlight, UV damage and glycation. Carnosine is an excellent super-antioxidant that fights and quenches free-radicals and it is also an excellent anti-glycating agent as well. In diabetics, the vitreous humour changes more rapidly than it should do just with normal aging. These changes can be the cause of functional disturbances as well as retinal detachment.

Diabetic retinopathy treatment with Carnosine and N-Acetyl-Carnosine eye drops

Prevention is far better than cure and the best way to prevent, or at least slow down the onset of diabetic retinopathy, is to diligently control blood sugar levels. Daily oral supplementation with Carnosine stabilises red blood cell membranes and helps to protect them from the damaging effects of glycation in diabetic patients. It effectively delays the onset of diabetes and also helps to increase the cell mass of insulin-secreting pancreatic cells.

Carnosine acts upon multiple targets within cells, and other body tissues, quenching the chemical reactions that stop proteins from functioning normally. Its beneficial effects on the autonomic nervous system help to decrease elevated blood glucose levels. By helping to modulate these high blood sugar levels, Carnosine effectively reduces the likelihood of these damaging glycation reactions to occur.

Even more importantly for diabetic retinopathy patients, Carnosine has also been shown to have excellent vasoprotective capabilities and protects retinal capillary cells from damage. N-Acetyl-Carnosine eye drops applied topically to the eyes are the fastest and most effective delivery mechanism to get the Carnosine into the eyes where it is needed the most.

Ageless Eyes of the future

As more and more is learned about the importance of antioxidants and the roles that they have to play in maintaining good eye health by reducing oxidative-stress damage, combined with people become more and more educated themselves, we should see a significant reduction in the numbers of people suffering from these debilitating eye diseases in the not too distant future. Regular eye examinations are of paramount importance, as early detection of many ocular disorders make treatment a lot easier, quicker and much more effective. Using antioxidants, like the ones discussed above, as a prophylactic measure is also very highly recommended to help prevent the onset of eye diseases in the first place. If you start using them daily now, then you may never have to worry about eye problems in the future, and thus enjoy truly ageless eyes.

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Author: Peter Aldred

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