Diabetic Eye Care and Exams

Diabetic Eye Care and Exams

A diagnosis of diabetes doesn’t just affect blood sugar levels and insulin production – it can also affect eye health and vision. Individuals with diabetes face a severely increased risk of developing serious eye diseases and conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The effects of vision loss from diabetes may be temporary or can become severe and irreversible. Proper diagnosis and treatment can be the difference in protecting your eyes and keeping your vision strong.

In fact, 80% to 85% of diabetics develop an eye disease, and diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in individuals between 25 and 70 years of age.

Why does Diabetes affect the eyes?

When diabetes is uncontrolled, unstable blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the eyes (and throughout the body). As a result, the body’s cardiovascular system cannot efficiently deliver oxygen and nutrients to vital structures inside the eyes. In addition, these blood vessels often weaken and burst, leaking fluid into the eyes and prompting the body to grow additional blood vessels (neovascularization). These new blood vessels put pressure on the retina, causing it to detach.

These diabetes-related issues hinder the function of the retina (the photosensitive portion of the eye primarily responsible for your ability to see). Burst blood vessels can also leave deposits on the macula (located at the center of the retina), causing blurry vision. This condition is called diabetic macular edema.

Protect your vision through Eye Exams

In addition to working with your primary care provider to actively manage your diabetes with diet and medication, you can also take steps to safeguard your eyes from diabetes-related diseases by scheduling regular diabetic exams with an eye doctor.

Most eye conditions caused by diabetes can be treated, as long as early signs are detected before the disease has progressed far enough to cause major damage to the eyes’ internal structures.

Diabetic Retinopathy

In patients who experience Hyperglycemia, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the retina that become swollen. Although early signs like microaneurysms are not always noticeable, late-stage symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include blurred vision, distortion, and ‘floaters’ and drastically impact vision. This is the most common eye condition in patients with diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in middle age adults.

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

When swollen blood vessels in the retina begin to leak, fluid builds up in the macula of the retina. This can be compounded by hypertension, hypoalbuminemia, and hyperlipidemia. Diabetic macular edema can only be developed when diabetic retinopathy is already present – both conditions sharing many of the same symptoms, such as floaters and blurry vision. It can permanently damage the retina and cause irreversible vision loss.
If you have diabetes, it is recommended to check in with your eye doctor at least once a year to maintain proper eye health. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the development of both diabetic retinopathy and DME. Immediately contact an eye doctor if you feel you are experiencing vision impairment or symptoms of eye infection.
 
Innovision Eye Care in Katy, Texas is proud to be an Optometrist that handles eye conditions and vision symptoms arising from Diabetes.
Choose an optometrist and clinic that cares about your vision.
Dr. Sanwari and every member of the staff at Innovision Family Eyecare is dedicated to the health of your eyes.