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The Question
Sun Nov 20 15:14:14 EST 2011

How does smoking cigarettes or marijuana affect diabetic retinopathy?
Asked By: gonzalezphoto  
Category: Vision
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I am a 41 diabetic for about 21 years, I have had laser in both eyes and 4 injections in my left eye. My doctor wants me to have a vitrectomy.
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Expert Answers (1)
2011-11-23 11:21:03.0

Happy Thanksgiving greetings GonzalezPhoto; Thank you for consulting with dLife.com, and your question is very thought provoking, especially regarding the marijuana use, (which has inconclusive clinical management recommendations in the presence of diabetes-see reference articles) .

Smoking cigarettes, (vs. marijuana use), and diabetes has a very long documented paper trail of 'damage'. The smoking of cigarettes has a roundabout way to weaken, narrow, and block blood vessels, and when this occurs in the eyes, less blood flow and adequate nutrients are available, when this involves the eye, and it is called retinopathy. The 3 main eye diseases associated with diabetes are retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, retinopathy being the most frequent. Retinopathy is the damage done to the small blood vessels of the retina. Two types of retinopathy are proliferative and non proliferative. The vitrectomy at this point, occurs when the fragile new vessels growing in proliferative retinopathy break and bleed into the vitreous body of the eye, seen as an oily, pink haze or can result in a total blockage in vision. To continue to keep the eyes free of disease;

  • blood glucose as close to normal
  • blood pressure normal
  • loss weight if needed
  • lower salt intake
  • avoid alcohol
  • continue to work closely with your PCP, regards Sue.

    Click here to read more about marijuana use.
    Jim Turner talks about drug use.
  • Answered By: Susan Throop
    Accreditations: RD, CDE, MA
    Sources Show

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    *** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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