Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness and visual disability globally among working-age adults. Until recently, diabetic eye disease is primarily regarded by its microvasculature complications largely characterized by progressive retinopathy and macular edema. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress and inflammation play an integral role in the early pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy by potentiating retinal neurodegeneration. The onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus starts with insulin resistance leading to insulin deficiency, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Which in turn enhances the pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory pathways. Additionally, various poor dietary behaviors along with obesity worsen physiological state in diabetics. However, decreased levels and depletion of the endogenous antioxidant defense system in the retina can be sufficiently augmented via carotenoid vitamin therapy. Therefore, dietary supplementation of antioxidant micronutrients particularly macular carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin that promote retinal health and optimal visual performance, may serve as an adjunctive therapy in the management of diabetic eye disease.
Part of the book: Antioxidants
There is an increase in demand for health promotion and preventative medicine playing a vital role in managing chronic illnesses. Many of these conditions stem from a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and smoking, all of which are risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). To combat chronic diseases, the root of the conditions may be addressed through the concept of health promotion. Health promotion thoroughly assesses how a population’s environmental, political, socioeconomic, behavioral, and cultural practices influence its health. This concept can be applied in a primary care setting which takes on a broader approach in treating and managing patients. Primary care providers need to be aware of the connections between common chronic illnesses and AMD. All primary care providers and eyecare specialists must be patients’ advocate and help improve their systemic and ocular prognosis.
Part of the book: Recent Advances and New Perspectives in Managing Macular Degeneration