Retinopathy is an eye disease of the retina where the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina become damaged and occluded. When the small arteries and veins are working correctly, they provide a continuous blood supply to the retina.

Sometimes the retina does not receive the nutrition and oxygen it needs, usually due to chronically elevated glucose or atherosclerosis.

The body then tries to compensate by replacing the circulatory system in the retina with new capillaries (veins) and arterioles (arteries).  This process is known as neovascular overgrowth. Unfortunately, these new veins are exceedingly fragile and can soon begin to leak and the new arteries may soon become occluded and blocked.  

The primary symptom of retinal vascular occlusion is a sudden change in vision, usually only in one eye. 

The best way to prevent retinal vascular occlusion is to identify and treat the risk factors. Since retinal vascular occlusion stems from vascular issues, it’s important to make lifestyle and dietary changes, such as:

A 3-year study published in 2001 followed the health of more than 10,000 men and women in four American cities. It found that during the study, 110 participants suffered strokes. It was found that they all had damaged blood vessels in their eyes. The damage included narrowing or ballooning of vessel walls, blood leakage and 'mini-strokes' in surrounding tissues.   

Dr. Tien Yin Wong of the University of Wisconsin, who led the study, said the results showed that problems with the blood vessels in the eyes were an indication of damage to veins and arteries in the brain, which cause strokes when blocked or burst.

According to Wong, "The only previously reliable way to examine the state of the blood vessels in the brain would have involved surgery. Retinal photography opens a new, non-invasive approach to investigate vascular diseases."

If you need to change your lifestyle, it can be challenging.  It requires diligence and commitment while you develop new habits and skills.

For more help, you can order Coco’s Healthy Cooking on Amazon.  Check the box to the right.  It is a book full of  whole foods, plant-based recipes.

© 2017 Melinda Coker

Sign up to receive new blog posts directly to your inbox.  Just fill in your name and e-mail address and hit the “Sign Up” button in the green box to your right.  You will then get an e-mail asking you to confirm your e-mail address.  Once you do that, you will be signed up to receive new blog posts.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches men and women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.