Supporting Diabetic Eyes
Diabetes is a health condition that affects the entire body. When it comes to the eyes, diabetes increases the chance of developing common eye diseases and eye diseases that are specific to the health condition.
To help protect the eyes of patients with diabetes, yearly eye exams are recommended. During these exams, we’ll run typical tests, but we’ll spend extra time checking if eye diseases have been developing without your knowledge.
Diabetes & the Eye
Your eyes are incredibly delicate. Since many parts of the eye are extremely small, they can be damaged quickly, impacting your vision for life.
Diabetes causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of blood vessels in the eye swelling, breaking, and leaking fluid. If parts of the eye like the retina or the macula are affected, patients can experience partial or full vision loss.
Diabetic Eye Diseases
Patients with diabetes are at risk of developing specific eye diseases related to diabetes and have a higher chance of developing other common eye diseases. To protect your eyes, it’s important to be aware of the eye diseases you could be at risk of.
Diabetic Retinopathy & Diabetic Macular Edema
If left unmanaged, diabetic retinopathy can develop into diabetic macular edema. This disease occurs when the eyes’ blood vessels begin to spill into the macula. Both diseases can cause partial or complete vision loss.
Adults with diabetes 45 years and older have nearly a 33% chance of developing cataracts. Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye begins to cloud, making a patient’s vision blurred. If not managed or treated, cataracts can cause vision loss.
Cataracts can be managed with a stronger lens prescription. However, to be properly treated, cataracts require surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural, clouded lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve. Patients with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to develop glaucoma. Regular eye exams are crucial to the early identification of glaucoma, as it’s common for the disease to show little to no early warning signs.
If left unmanaged, glaucoma can lead to partial vision loss and eventually blindness.
Your Next Diabetic Eye Exam
It’s crucial for patients with diabetes to be aware of how the condition affects their eyes and the increased care they require. Regular eye exams are the foundation of supporting diabetic eyes.