Optic nerve damage preceding retinopathy?

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Optic nerve damage preceding retinopathy?

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Old 06-02-2016, 15:40   #1
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Default Optic nerve damage preceding retinopathy?

Diabetes Daily has a summary and link (through another article) to a study that found damage to the optic nerve precedes the diabetic retinopathy we work so hard to prevent.

Retinal neurodegeneration may precede microvascular changes characteristic of diabetic retinopathy in diabetes mellitus

"This longitudinal study in people with diabetes with no or minimal DR [Diabetic retinopathy] shows that RDN [retinal diabetic neuropathy] precedes signs of microvasculopathy and that RDN is progressive and independent of glycated hemoglobin, age, and sex."

An article about it in Diabetes.co.uk* concludes with:
"People with diabetes can reduce their risk of nerve damage by maintaining control of their blood glucose levels and generally following a healthy lifestyle."
Yet the study authors seem to state this nerve degneration (similar to that with glaucoma) is "...progressive and independent of glycated hemoglobin" (italics mine)

Does anyone have direct experience with this? Has there been damage to the optic nerve in spite of careful BG level control?

*New study represents shift in understanding diabetic retinopathy and nerve damage

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Old 06-02-2016, 19:28   #2
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I'm 73, been in fairly good control since 2009. Aside from a pesky "floater" and a not-so-pesky retinal flash when I extend my eye limits from side to side...I notice no difference.

Studies saying that things will always get worse are easy. Off course things will get worse...and then you die. If things got better...we'd all be immortal. A friend of mine on the Internet used to say, "Drink, smoke, do drugs, eat poorly, live a decadent lifestyle and die. Don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs, eat well, go to church and believe the almighty will save you...and die anyway!"

To be candid, what I don't want to be is an old man, in a wheelchair, in a rest home wearing diapers and drooling in my lap...that has 20/20 vision.

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Old 06-13-2016, 21:07   #3
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There aren't a lot of doctors who work with optic nerves specifically and I can tell you that they are not being swamped with diabetics. In fact, I think I'm one of only two diabetic patients that my doc sees (he specializes in optic nerve damage) and neither of us have conditions caused by diabetes. So, either I'm not understanding that report very well or they are off on some kind of weird tangent.

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