Impacts Of Diabetic Eye Disease
Commonly referred to as “diabetic eye disease,” diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that most commonly forms as a result of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. These often cause unhealthy levels of blood sugar. In turn, elevated blood sugar can cause internal swelling in the eyes. This can eventually lead to eye health issues, such as glaucoma, cataracts and/or retinopathy. The end result is often blindness.
Continue reading to learn the signs and treatment for this disease
Causes: Diabetic Retinopathy
The swelling caused by increased blood sugar can irritate blood vessels in your eyes. Your retina (a thin layer of tissue that detects light and creates images your brain receives) is then affected. Swelling or new blood vessel growth has the potential to occur.
Those at risk of diabetic eye disease will most likely notice:
- Dark spots in their vision, or “floaters”
- Blurry vision
- Frequent changes in their vision
- Difficulty reading text
However, early detection can be difficult due to little to no symptoms at early stages. Make sure you are receiving regular vision checkups!
Over half of those diagnosed with diabetes will also be diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. An increase of people with diabetes means similar increases in people with impaired vision. Furthermore, over one-third of Black Americans and Hispanic Americans will be diagnosed with this disease. Compared to other demographics, this is a significant number.
Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention
Your eye doctor can perform a variety of tests to exam and diagnose diabetic eye disease:
- The common eye chart test
- A standard exam that checks eye pressure
- Pupil dilation
- An examination of your retina
- Dye along with a special camera can be used to show blood vessels
- Detailed images of your retina may be made
Treatment depends on your health, age and symptoms. While diabetic eye disease doesn’t always lead to blindness, early detection makes a difference!
Treatment can look like:
- Laser surgery
- Removing and replacing the substance filling your eye’s center with a saline solution
- Injected medication used to slow growth and treat symptoms
However, the best treatment is almost always prevention. Some ways you can prevent diabetic eye disease from ever occurring or becoming severe include:
- Annual eye exams
- Take your medicine as directed
- Maintain healthy blood sugar levels and diet
- Regular visits with your doctor
- Avoid smoking
Visit CCMH for expert diabetic care. Our team will help you create and maintain a diabetes management plan that works best for your needs! For more information about our diabetes services, visit: https://www.ccmhhealth.com/diabetes-services/
You can also learn more about diabetes from our blog: https://www.ccmhhealth.com/american-diabetes-month/
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American Society of Retina Specialists. https://www.asrs.org/patients/retinal-diseases/3/diabetic-retinopathy
Centers for Disease Control.
John Hopkins Medicine.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-eye-disease