Quite a few years ago during my annual ophthalmologist exam there was a small spot of retinopathy. My doc, scheduled a 4 month follow up, then 6 months, 9 months, back to yearly as it was showing improvement. This year’s exam showed no retinal problems. This was after I began MDI and got really good BG management.
I hope the Ophthalmologist I see is as thorough! Glad to hear you improved.
I saw the Ophthalmologist/Retina Specialist today, in follow up to my initial Optometrist appointment, where they discovered my hemorrhages. I’ve been told I have hemorrhages and something called a cotton wool, and was officially diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy. At present, he isn’t recommending any treatment, and advised me to get my A1C down, and control my blood sugars and blood pressure.
My blood pressure is always on the low side of normal, so that’s not of concern to me, but I’m really going to have to focus on blood sugar control, which I think means for me tackling stress and not self soothing with junk food. Also counting accurately, eating nutritious food and pre-bolusing. This has never been something I’m good at, so it’s going to require discipline, but I’m pretty freaked out, so I’m going to try and use that in a productive way.
That’s my update.
@jo_jo - just wanted to send support your way and (although easier said than done), urge you to not let yourself freak out too much. The big take away from this appointment is that you don’t have any treatment recommended, just to work hard on your blood sugar. That is great! Sending big hugs your way. So glad you had this appointment and have a plan in place. xoxo
Thank you so much! This thoughtful message made my day, and yes, focusing on the big takeaway:) xo
Among other retina issues (for which I also got the unbelievably frustrating ‘watch and wait’ dignosis), I have recently begun to get “ocular migraines”, which my opthalmologist said may or may not be related to my diabetes. They aren’t painful, but they are very distracting and make reading or wathcing television impossible - usually starts as a small blindspot just off the center of my field of vision (like macular), but then it starts to expand and soon it’s like a psychedelic light show in your eyeball. Fortunately, they dissipate over a period of about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, they are often followed an hour or two later by a real migraine.
@jo_jo - If I may, you need to be in the care of a real opthalmologist (wich it sounds like you now are) and/or a retina specialist - optometrists are for refracting and prescribing corrective lenses, not for diagnosing diseases of the eyes and retina.
I don’t get these but my non-diabetic wife use to get them regularly. She actually enjoyed them. Now she only gets them every month or two. What made they rare was taking a beta blocker.
I am in complete agreement. I was diagnosed with T2DM 32 years ago and have my eyes examined yearly by an ophthalmologist. I lost my long time ophthalmologist 2 years ago who was probably a retina specialist as well, because the medical group for all our medical needs dumped our insurance.
I went to another local eye clinic for my yearly. I was not pleased with the thoroughness of the exam. My former doctor would do all the camera scans but then he would actually look into my eyes in every corner. He had detected a single diabetic retinopathy some years before I lost his service. It was watched carefully and actually improved. New doc didn’t mention it at all.
I asked my new PCP to refer me to a retina specialist I knew from bicycling. The exam was super, just like my first doc. After 2 exams, no sign of retinopathy yeah!
I will need to see a different doctor if the cataracts progress and an optometrist for glasses.
I wonder if I was dealing with a similar issue, as I was experiencing regular headaches over the last year when I never have my entire life (for me, when I’m unwell, it’s usually stomach related, never headaches). Sometimes, it would become a migraine and I’d see something akin to a kaleidoscope without the color, like clear wheels turning within clear wheels…if you can picture that!
Yes, now seeing an Ophthalmologist who is a Retina Specialist. Also seeing an Optometrist, as I’m still trying to get an accurate prescription (I’ve had 3 pair of glasses made and they all are entirely off).
So your Retinopathy went away? That’s amazing! Congratulations.
I put that down to very good time in range that came with MDI and then Tandem C-IQ. The retinopathy began when I was only on Metformin and Lantus. I was only using finger sticks and regular HbA1c tests. I only got the Dexcom after a couple of months on MDI.
I suspect that my BG range was running quite high and low. Much more stable now.
That’s inspiring! I’m getting into a good range, no wild swings, A1C might just be below 7 this time. The last couple days have been a bit hard to manage, but not super high or anything. It’s especially challenging over the Xmas holidays. I’m back to disciplined eating today. I managed to keep working out throughout the holidays, so that probably helped.
@jo_jo I found these on line:
Mine are colorful, like the one on the bottom (too many psychedelics in college in the 70’s?), but it sounds like what you’re describing is more like the one on the top. If so, and it’s an ocular migraine, my ophthalmologist (who I’ve been seeing for 30+ years, is a close friend, and who I trust implicitly - he’s one of the smartest guys I know, which is not a compliment I throw around lightly) said it’s nothing to get exercised about - uncomfortable, yes, but not a long term threat to your vision. Hope that’s all it is. Good luck!
Ha ha yes, mine is more like the top one! Good to know it’s nothing to get too anxious about.
Indeed. From what I’ve read, ocular migraines are caused by the shrinking and swelling of the capillaries in the back of your brain - like a regular migraine - and, although they manifest in visual distortion, they don’t actually have anything to do with your eyes at at all, rather, they are caused by mild interference with the electrical impulses that affect vision. Definitely keep up with the ophthalmologist (I’m no doctor and not offering a diagnosis), but I sincerely hope that’s all it turns out to be for you.
Update: saw the Optometrist today for an update on my glasses prescription, and she said there were zero bleeds and she couldn’t find the cotton wool. It may be that things have improved as I’ve been super diligent about my control. I’m hoping that’s it! I didn’t go to her for eye health, only a prescription as the Ophthalmologist/Retina Specialist didn’t dispense glasses prescriptions, but she checked anyway as part of the exam. I’ll take the good news and continue to keep my levels under control and hope that my follow up with the Ophthalmologist/Retina Specialist in just under a year shows the same. Yay
Very happy for you @jo_jo - Great way to start the new year!!