There are some great responses and strategies on this thread that I liked reading. Definitely follow Josh's lead on blood pressure. I also recommend consider taking a low grade aspirin everyday, like Ecotrin. It increases blood flow throughout the body and its a low grade aspirin which can decrease the chances of side effects. I know many people who have done this and had higher A1C's than you yet still managed to have little if any retinopathy. The technologies out there are incredible as well including laser treatment but hopefully you won't have to go that route. I have had retinopathy for 10 years and at one point had minor leakage but exercise, a better diet, ecotrin and yoga allowed it to improve.
I can't wait to talk to you about this Patrick sometime in Jan. It will be extremely good to talk to someone in person who is dealing with this, and dealt with it. I should do Yoga. Or get back to Tai chi.
My doctors seem more confident than me right now ;-)
Hope you are managing well.
In my opinion, the number of years that a patient is diabetic is the biggest risk factor to developing diabetic retinopathy.
I've been in practice almost 20 years and would have to say that almost every diabetic should expect to get background diabetic retinopathy. It is more likely than not to develop.
But, having background diabetic retinopathy does NOT mean that you will lose vision. Especially nowadays!!!
The chance of your losing significant vision is <1% over you lifetime. Plenty of people retain 20/20 with the diagnosis of background diabetic retinopathy. The best you can do, as many have highlighted on this thread, is control your serum glucose as best you can. There is nothing to prevent the disease, but there is plenty you can do to prevent vision loss. Make sure you have a retina specialist who you see regularly. Hang in there! Randy