Diabetic Eye Care
Diabetic Eye Care
Diabetes is a disease that prevents your body from making or using insulin to break down sugar in your bloodstream, and it can affect your eyes and your vision.
How does diabetes affect vision?
- Diabetes can cause fluctuating or blurring of vision, intermittent double vision, loss of peripheral vision and flashes and floaters within the eyes.
- Diabetes can cause changes in nearsightedness and farsightedness, and lead to premature presbyopia (the inability to focus on close objects).
- It can result in cataracts, glaucoma, a lack of eye muscle coordination (strabismus) and decreased corneal sensitivity.
- The most serious eye problem associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which, if not controlled, can lead to blindness.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when there is a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the retina of the eye, resulting in blood leakage, the growth of new blood vessels and other changes.
Can vision loss from diabetes be prevented?
Yes. During a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist can diagnose potential vision-threatening changes in your eyes that may be treated to prevent blindness; however, once damage has occurred, the effects are usually permanent. It is important to control the diabetes as much as possible to minimize the risk of developing retinopathy.
How is diabetic retinopathy treated?
In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with laser therapy. A bright beam of light is focused on the retina, causing a burn that seals off leaking blood vessels. In other cases, surgery inside the eye may be necessary. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is crucial.
Are there risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy?
Several factors increase the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, including smoking, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol intake and pregnancy.
How can diabetes-related eye problems be prevented?
Diabetes-related eye problems can be prevented by monitoring and maintaining control of your diabetes. See your physician regularly and follow instructions about diet, exercise, and medication.
When first diagnosed as a diabetic, it is important to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and follow their instructions on a subsequent comprehensive eye exam schedule. The doctors at Spring Hill Eye Associates are qualified to provide expert diabetic eye care.