Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) can occur if the swelling, leaking, and hard exudates noted in background diabetic retinopathy occur within the macula. Common symptoms of DME are blurry vision, floaters, double vision, and eventually blindness if it goes untreated.
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Preproliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage of damage to the eye than the early signs found in BDR. Once this stage is present, vision can worsen rapidly if the progression of damage is not monitored regularly and treated when it progresses to a certain stage.
Background diabetic retinopathy or BDR is named appropriately because it sits in the background, not itself a danger to vision, but is instead a warning sign that serious damage may be starting.
Changes in vision may happen at the time that diabetes is first diagnosed or at any time that blood sugar control is poor. Fluctuating blood sugars cause the lens to swell and shrink, and result in fluctuating vision. Many times, people who have "borderline" diabetes finally decide to take their diabetes seriously when their vision becomes blurred.
by John Walsh, P.A., C.D.E., Ruth Roberts, M.A.
Two drugs in this class are now available – Prandin, derived from benzoic acid and approved by the FDA in 1997, and Starlix, derived from D-phenylalanine and approved in 2000. They raise insulin levels rapidly by stimulating the beta cells by mechanisms different from the sulfonylureas. They enhance insulin release from the pancreas over a short period of time only when the glucose level is high. Therefore, the risk of hypoglycemia is reduced. Their activity more closely mimics normal first phase insulin release when food is eaten by a person without diabetes.