Season 3, Episode 11

Dr. John Kitchens | Diabetic Retinopathy

Pregnancy, Prevention and Treatment with a World-Renowned Retina Expert

Nearly everyone has been touched by diabetes – either directly or indirectly. More than 37 million people in the US have diabetes, with another 97 million in the prediabetes category. The global prevalence is more than 450 million. Over time, diabetes damages the heart, blood vessels, the kidneys, nerves and the eyes. Those with diabetes have a 2-3 fold increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Very often nerve damage can occur, which can lead to disease in the eye.

Diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is one of the leading cause of blindness in adults. The onset is triggered when high blood sugar damages blood vessels in the retina. Nearly 7.7 million Americans have diabetic retinopathy and that number is projected to increase to nearly 14.6 million by 2030. That’s only 8 years from now. The disease pathology typically presents in those between the ages of 24-64. The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and, with appropriate lifestyle changes, can be reversed in many.

For a diabetic women, peak fertility and pregnancy typically coincides with the first half of this lifestage. Vision loss at this stage can have serious implications for the mother and family. It’s important for a women to start regular treatment with an Ophthalmologist and a broader care team prior to conception to reduce the risk of significant outcomes.

Dr. John Kitchens is an award-winning, internationally-recognized vitreoretinal surgeon, host of the New Retina Radio podcast and featured on the Discovery Channel’s Mystery Diagnosis. And he’s joining us today to chat about the prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

with Retina Expert

“The eyes…[it] gives us a glimpse of what our body has been through over our entire life.”

– Dr. John Kitchens

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Transcript coming soon…

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