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Background retinopathy.

Discussion in 'Diabetes Complications' started by kitan, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. kitan

    kitan Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hello, I've been T1D for 1.5 year. My HbA1c is always ~5.8%. Last year I had first eye screening which showed no retinopathy. My second one was 1 week ago, yesterday I got the letter which says that I have "some background retinopathy" (they can see small changes in my blood vessels) doesn't need any treatment and the next check is due 12 months (it's good thing). I always keep my sugar levels under control, but the last time my honeymoon gone and I had a little bit higher sugars for about 3 months especially mornings (between 8 - 9 when I wake up), but it's gone, my meter shows 30 days average sugar level around 7. Do I have to be worried? I was really shocked yesterday.
     
  2. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @kitan ,

    Welcome to the forum..

    It's always a shock when your doing so well.
    Worried? No. Mindful. Yes.

    I'm going to tag in @noblehead . He's got a handle on this sort of stuff.
     
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  3. tom58

    tom58 Type 1 · Member

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    Was it the same person who tested you on both occasions and did the last tester know you were diabetic? In my experience some people, when they know you are diabetic, will find traces of retinopathy because they think they should.

    Congratulations... With an HbA1c reading of 5.8% you have excellent long term blood sugar control and trace retinopathy can be reversed if you can keep your Hb under 6%.
     
  4. kitan

    kitan Type 1 · Newbie

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    No, person who did the eye screening was different. I had problems with my retina in the past (my friend shooted into my eye from ASG), I had blood leaking into my retina and retina detachment, I told it on my first eye screening to the tester but the second one didn't ask me about that.
     
  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Understandably your shocked but try not to worry and see what is said at your next screening.

    Your doing everything right by controlling your bg levels, but also keep in check your bp and cholesterol too, for more info have a read of the following which contains some excellent advice on diabetic retinopathy:

    http://www.diabeticretinopathy.org.uk/back_diabetic_retinopathy.html
     
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  6. tom58

    tom58 Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you for the link you posted, noblehead. I used to have background retinopathy but was a very heavy smoker. Twenty five years ago I quit smoking and for the last ten years have had no retinopathy. Thought this was solely due to good blood sugar control, much aided by an insulin pump but now see that smoking was a likely additional cause.
     
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  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Smoking is bad even if you don't have a life-long medical condition like diabetes, but smoking and diabetes is terrible combination and vastly increases the chances of diabetes related complications, I did once have an article saved in my favourites about it but can't seem to find it now.

    Excellent news about your reversal @tom58 , I'm sure you just feel healthier all-round giving up on the cigarettes. Well done.
     
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  8. Red shaw

    Red shaw · Member

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    Of course they knew she is diabetic. The retinopathy screening if for diabetics.
     
  9. Red shaw

    Red shaw · Member

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    Background retinopathy is very common in diabetics, so long as it doesn't progress (by keeping your diabetes under control), it is ok. Basically they check that the leaks you have this time heal. I had it for years and years. Then once I had the pump it has disappeared, and an eye consultant that was seeing me for something else checked me over and didn't realise I was a veteran diabetic. So it needn't be something to worry about.
     
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  10. johnpol

    johnpol Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done on keeping your BS's in range, what you will find is that the screening will routinely find the new vessels that are being made as the retina starts to cope with the excess sugar. the background retinopathy could be a remnant from when you were diagnosed as it takes a while for the retina to recover, I had background retinopathy for a few years, but lost my mother to cancer and fell of the horse so to speak , as far as control went, and ended up progressing to proliferative retinopathy(totally my fault) all i'm trying to say is keep up with your good control and screening and you will probably see it get less and less.
     
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