Three Keys to Delaying and Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

Risk factors for DR are sometimes referred to as the 3 H’s: hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Accordingly, the ADA guidelines recommend that glycemic, blood pressure, and serum lipid control should all be optimized to reduce the risk or slow the progression of DR. The importance of this systemic control of diabetes was highlighted in a discussion on Medscape Ophthalmology between two ophthalmologists at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City: Dr. John Aljian (an anterior segment surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology) and Dr. Ron Gentile (Director of the Ocular Trauma Service and Surgeon Director). They stressed the need to “get to patients before they have diabetic retinopathy. If a patient comes in to the office with no diabetic retinopathy, we don’t want to forget to mention the importance of the 3 H’s.” Because DR can take years to develop, each clinical encounter is an opportunity to stress to the patient the importance of striving to meet his or her individual treatment targets. In fact, as summed up by Dr. Aljian “there is nothing more powerful—no medication, injectable, laser, whatever—to prevent a vision loss from diabetic retinopathy than control of the blood sugar, the blood pressure, and the lipid profile.”


How diabetic retinopahty can stick suddenly, without noticeRetina Labs CEO Richard Pridham