Depression in patients with age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can be reduced with self-care tools. The researchers conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial involving 80 participants with late-stage age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. Participants also had mild depressive symptoms and vision acuity better than 20/200 (the legally blind threshold). The participants either received intervention in the form of large-print written and audio tools incorporating cognitive-behavioral principles plus three 10-minute telephone calls, or usual care.
The researchers found that the intervention reduced depressive symptoms by 2.1 points more than usual care.
The authors concluded, “Self-care tools plus telephone coaching led to a modest improvement in depressive symptoms in patients with age-related eye disease. Additional research on how to maximize their effect is necessary.”
How diabetes affects vision
Eye disease is one of the complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes can wreak havoc on your vision and eye health, leading to vision loss in some cases. It is of utmost importance for diabetic patients to keep their condition well managed.
Those who do not have diabetes should take the necessary preventative measures to reduce their risk and protect their vision along with overall health. Regardless of the type, diabetics have a 25 percent higher risk of vision loss, compared to the general population without diabetes.
In diabetes, your body cannot store sugar properly. This fluctuation in blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels, especially those that supply blood to your eyes. As a result, diabetes means an increased risk for eye complications, including cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
Although diabetic eye disease cannot always be prevented, there are still measures you can take to help lower your risk.
Diabetic eye disease prevention involves:
- Managing your diabetes – through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes
- Monitoring blood sugar levels
- Having a doctor check your hemoglobin levels
- Keeping cholesterol and blood pressure under control
- Quitting smoking
- Paying attention to changes in vision
Diabetes does not have to result in vision loss. With proper management, you can give your eyes a better chance against diabetic eye disease.