Pregnant mum saved from eye sight loss by quick acting health staff

Tue, 26 Nov 2013
Katy Rogerson, who has type 1 diabetes, was saved from losing her vision by quick thinking doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB).

Katy, 32, was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy during the first trimester of her pregnancy. It is not uncommon for the first stages of retinopathy to develop in people with type 1 diabetes during pregnancy as a number of factors can play a part.

Blood pressure levels can often rise as a result of pregnancy putting more pressure on weaker blood vessels on the retina of the eye. A further factor is that a rapid improvement in blood glucose levels, often required if blood glucose levels have been less well controlled prior to pregnancy, can also make retinopathy more likely to become apparent.

When Katy's doctors noticed her retinopathy, they took swift action and treated her with laser therapy, which helps to close off weak blood vessels and prevent them leaking blood onto the retina. If the affected blood vessels are close to the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision, retinopathy can present an immediate threat to vision.

Katy is grateful that her doctors acted so swiftly to protect her sight and enable to see her daughter, Juliet, when she was born. In response, Katy is supporting her hospital's QE Eye Appeal which is raising £250,000 to buy new eye care machines to help screen for and treat dangerous eye conditions.
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