Screening and Early Detection
Diabetes has become a growing epidemic, largely due to the increase in type 2 diabetes cases. Regardless of the cause, chronically elevated blood sugar is a serious threat to eye health.
How does excess sugar in the blood cause eye related problems? Diabetes causes a variety of health complications, including circulatory system damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. Blockages in the blood vessels reduce blood flow to the retina, prompting the eye to grow supplemental, weak-walled additional blood vessels. These blood vessels have a tendency to leak blood into the eye. The pooled blood not only interferes with vision, but it can cause part of the retina to detach, an emergency condition that can cause blindness. Diabetic Retinopathy may also cause blurred vision, poor night vision and loss of central vision (macular edema).
As concerning as these symptoms are, it is critical to understand that early-stage Diabetic Retinopathy may not produce any warning signs at all, causing permanent damage without a patient realizing it. Regular eye exam screenings are critical to early detection and treatment for preserving eyesight.
Detection & Treatment
Diabetic Retinopathy and related issues can cause progressive vision loss, distorted vision and even blindness. Early detection and treatment is critical for preserving eyesight.
Diabetic Eye Care Treatment and Counseling
Our experienced Optometric physicians perform a comprehensive eye exam to get the best possible view of the back of the eye. If blood spots and other telltale signs of Diabetic Retinopathy are present, we will urge you to get your blood sugar checked by your primary care provider. Controlling the underlying diabetes is far and away the most important thing you can do to slow or manage a case of Diabetic Retinopathy. While insulin or other medication may be necessary, many cases of diabetes can be controlled through medically-supervised dietary, exercise and weight loss strategies.
While eye treatments cannot necessarily improve eye function lost to diabetic eye issues, they can certainly help to preserve remaining vision. Possible options include laser treatment or injections to stop blood leakage. If too much blood or scar tissue has collected in the vitreous fluid of the eye, a surgical procedure called a Vitrectomy can remove it. We can advise you on the pre-operative and post-operative aspects of such procedures, and coordinate any surgical co-management needs.
Schedule an appointment with one of our Doctors to learn more and discuss any questions or concerns you have.