Diabetes Management

How to Control Your Diabetes and Stay Healthy


Blood Sugar and Retinopathy in Prediabetes

Most research supports the importance of tight control of blood sugar levels in diabetes. The kinds of tight blood sugar control found in the DCCT trials have been found to impact the onset and seriousness of the eye complications in the chronic disease process, especially in those who begin when the diabetes is recent in onset. However, that does not mean that diabetic retinopathy does not occur in prediabetes or with lower levels of blood sugar.

Research between 2005 and the present has consistently found that some prediabetics have retinopathy as well. Accounts suggest that between 8% and 11% of prediabetics will have some retinopathy.

Indeed hemoglobin A1c levels in the mid-6.0 range has been associated with diabetes. While many have in that past considered that level to be adequate, if not good control, of diabetics, the standard of care to knowledgeable diabetes health care teams should now include regular eye exams, looking specifically for any retinopathy, if the blood level for hemoglobin A1c is above  6.5. 

Diagnosed diabetics are still 2-3 times more likely to get retinopathy, but even at the these milder levels, it can occur.


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