You may have heard that, among its other complications, diabetes can lead to blindness. While it’s true that people with diabetes are more vulnerable to loss of vision, it’s not exactly the disease itself that causes the problem. Rather, diabetes makes people more susceptible to eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and macular edema.
- Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. In fact, about one in three people over forty who have diabetes also have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, high blood sugar levels cause damage to small blood vessels in the retina and, if it’s not treated early, this can cause blindness. Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.
- People with diabetes tend to get cataracts earlier than other people. Unfortunately, cataracts also progress faster in diabetics. Cataracts cloud the eye’s natural lens, causing blurry vision and glare. Sometimes, these symptoms can be managed with eyeglasses, but usually, cataracts are treated with surgery. For a person with diabetes, vision after cataract surgery largely depends on whether other eye diseases are also present.
- Diabetic macular edema usually occurs in people who already have signs of diabetic retinopathy. This condition involves swelling of the macula, the part of the retina necessary for reading, driving, and seeing people’s faces. This swelling is caused by fluid seeping from blood vessels into the retina and can cause permanent damage that can lead to partial vision loss or blindness. Treatment for macular edema may include medications injected into the eye to stop the leaking, or lasers can be used to seal leaking blood vessels.
If you have an eye problem associated with diabetes, you might not even know it. Many of these conditions do not cause symptoms until they’ve progressed to the point that jeopardizes your vision and is difficult to correct. Catching them in the early stages is the best way to protect your vision, and the only way to do that is through regular eye exams. That’s why it’s important to find an eye doctor who is experienced with vision problems caused by diabetes.
If you’re looking for an eye specialist near Derry, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.
If you have diabetes, one of the conditions your eye doctor near Windham will screen you for during your eye exam is diabetic retinopathy. This serious eye disease is associated with damage to the retina and can lead to vision loss without proper treatment. Regular eye exams are crucial for people with diabetes so that retinopathy can be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know about this eye disease.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels that are located in the retina. These damaged blood vessels can leak fluid into the macula—part of the retina that helps you see fine details and color. When the macula is flooded with fluid, vision becomes cloudy. New blood vessels may also form on the surface of the retina to improve circulation. These blood vessels may leak and cause vision loss. Typically, this blood vessel damage is caused by prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels, which is why maintaining tight blood sugar control is important for people with diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
In early stages, diabetic retinopathy doesn’t cause any symptoms and can only be diagnosed by an eye doctor during an exam. As the disease progresses, patients experience floaters, blurred vision, night vision problems, and dark spots in the center of vision. During an eye exam, eye doctors test visual acuity, refraction, and eye pressure and evaluate the eye to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy.
Treatment Options for Diabetic Retinopathy
Gaining blood sugar control may be enough to treat diabetic retinopathy that is diagnosed in early stages. In some cases, lasers can be used to stop leakage and shrink blood vessels that have grown on the retina surface. These treatments may impact side vision but preserve central vision. If diabetic retinopathy is not treated before significant vision loss occurs, tools like magnifiers and microscopic lenses can help.
Diabetes is a growing problem and can lead to complications such as vision problems near Londonderry and Windham . A poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are two major risk factors for developing diabetes.
This video highlights the relationship between diabetes and vision loss. Diabetes can cause complications to your eye health. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to talk to your eye doctor about what you can do to preserve your eyesight. Your eye doctor can also make recommendations about lifestyle choices you can make to prevent diabetes. A healthy diet and regular exercise can keep you, and your eyes, healthy.
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