Diabetic Retinopathy: Prevention, Treatment and Diet

Eating for Your Eyes Part II
Diabetic Retinopathy:
Prevention, Treatment and Diet
Sharon Allen Haynes, MS - Regional Extension Agent II for Southeast Region II
Tera Glenn, BS - Regional Extension Agent I for Southwest Region 1
Eating for Your Eyes Part II- Diabetic
Retinopathy: Prevention, Treatment and Diet
Identify the Objectives
Identify Target Group(s)
Discuss the Implementation
Participants will increase their awareness/knowledge of:
diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and diet.
diabetic retinopathy diagnosis, risk factors, symptoms,
prevention and treatment
blood sugar and blood pressure numbers.
the Plate Method for carbohydrate and blood
pressure control.
Target Groups
Health Care
Professionals- nurses,
dietitians, etc.
Family Service
workers, etc.
School Nurses/Food
Service Staff
Health Education
Senior Centers
Diabetic Support
Faith Based
Anyone diagnosed
with diabetes
Anyone interested in
diabetes education
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is
unable to regulate levels of glucose (sugar) in
the blood.
If left untreated, this results in high blood sugars
and diabetic complications.
Glucose comes from the digestion of
carbohydrate foods and beverages such as
breads, cereals, dairy products, fruits and
starchy vegetables.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Complication of
uncontrolled diabetes
Most common diabetic
eye disease
Caused by changes
in the blood vessels of
the retina
Diabetic Retinopathy
Accounts for 12,000 to
24,000 new cases of
blindness every year
Leading cause of new
cases of blindness in adults
Diagnosed in 40 to 45% of individuals
with diabetes
Risk Factors for Diabetic Retinopathy
Presence of type 1 or 2 diabetes
 Diagnosed with diabetes while pregnant
 Poor blood sugar control
 Poor blood pressure control
 Presence of nephropathy (kidney disease)
 Duration of diabetes
How Can Complications of Diabetes
Be Reduced?
Control blood sugar
 40%
risk reduction for every percentage drop in
hemoglobin A1c
Control blood pressure
 33%
risk reduction if blood pressure controlled
Early detection and treatment
 Significant
decrease in complications
Diabetic Retinopathy Progression
Uncontrolled Diabetes and/or
Blood Pressure
Weak Blood Vessels
Clogged Blood Vessels
Leaking Blood Vessels
Formation of New,
Weak Blood Vessels
Swelling in Retina
Blood Vessels Bleed
and Rupture
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Usually NO symptoms in early stages
of the disease
Spots in vision if bleeding occurs
Blurred vision
Diabetic Retinopathy
Normal Vision
Same scene viewed by a person with
diabetic retinopathy
Prevention and Treatment
Good blood sugar, blood pressure and
cholesterol control
Healthy diet and exercise
Regular eye checkups to identify problems
 Comprehensive
dilated eye exam at least once a year
 Pregnant women with diabetes should
receive a comprehensive dilated
eye exam as soon as possible after
pregnancy confirmed
Know Your Numbers
Fasting Blood Glucose Level
70 -100 mg/dl
> 100 mg/dl
> 126 mg/dl
Hemoglobin A1c
Blood test used to measure the average
blood sugar during the past 2 to 3 months
Long-term control of blood sugars
 Normal range 4 to 6%
Goal for diabetes – less than 7%
Plate Method for Blood Sugar Control
Plate Method and Portion Control
Do you normally
eat more or less
of the food item
What can you do
to improve your
eating habits and
blood sugar?
How can you improve diet and
physical activity habits?
Change gradually
Remember to keep carbohydrate intake consistent
 Use
the Plate Method
Include meats as one part of the whole meal
instead of the focus
Use fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat
dairy as desserts or snacks
Implement and track physical activity
Try new activities
Work with your dietitian and physician:
Eat a healthy diet
 Control blood sugar
 Control blood pressure
Get a yearly comprehensive and dilated
eye exam
Build a patient/physician relationship with an
Additional Information
A pre-survey is given to all participants.
After 8 weeks, a post survey is either mailed, sent via
e-mail, or administered by phone.
100% of the pre-surveys are returned
42% of the post-surveys sent by mail or e-mail are
Eating for Your Eyes II
Diabetic Retinopathy: Prevention, Treatment and Diet (Pre-survey)
1. Which option best describes your diet and
a. I do not plan on making any changes in the
near future (the next two months).
b. I am thinking about making a change in the
next two months.
c. I am actively considering changing behavior in
the next month.
d. I have made behavioral changes in the past
two months.
e. I have made behavioral changes for greater
than two months and am working on sustaining
those changes.
2. Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic eye disease that can lead to
blindness. What can you do to prevent it?
Please circle all answers that apply.
a. Control blood sugar
b. Control blood pressure
c. Eat a healthy diet
d. Eat lots of carbohydrate foods
e. Exercise
f. Get a yearly comprehensive and dilated-eye exam
g. Eat high-sodium foods
4. What is the hemoglobin A1c (average blood sugar) goal for people with
a. <5%
b. <6%
c. <7%
d. <8%
5. Which foods are recommended for blood pressure control? Please circle
all foods that apply.
a. Fruits
b. Vegetables
c. Nuts
d. Low fat dairy products
e. Low-fat meats
f. Grains
Thank You for Your Participation
Sharon Allen Haynes, MS
Regional Extension Agent II
Human Nutrition, Diet & Health
132 North Court Street
Talladega, AL 35160
256-362-6187 (office)
Tera Glenn, BS
Regional Extension Agent I
Human Nutrition, Diet & Health
P.O. Box 271
Carrollton, AL 35447
205- 367-8148 (office)
Special Thanks to:
Lindsay Youd, L.R.D.
Sherri Stastny, Ph.D., L.R.D., C.S.S.D., Assistant Professor
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition
Specialist and Associate Professor

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