Which health concerns should be addressed in the patient education on diabetic retinopathy?

Updated: Sep 02, 2021
  • Author: Abdhish R Bhavsar, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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The following symptoms and/or health concerns must be addressed in any patient education program for those with diabetic retinopathy:

  • Systemic problems (eg, hypertension, renal disease, and hyperlipidemia) may contribute to disease progression.

  • Smoking, although not directly proven to affect the course of the retinopathy, may further compromise oxygen delivery to the retina. Therefore, all efforts should be made in the reduction, if not outright cessation, of smoking.

  • Visual symptoms (eg, vision changes, floaters, distortion, redness, pain) could be manifestations of disease progression and should be reported immediately.

Diabetes mellitus, in general, and diabetic retinopathy, in particular, are progressive conditions, and regular follow-up care with a physician is crucial for detection of any changes that may benefit from treatment.

For excellent patient education resources, see eMedicineHealth's Diabetes Center. Also, visit eMedicineHealth's patient education article Diabetic Eye Disease.

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