Why Diabetic Eye Care is Important
Your overall wellness is connected to your vision. All forms of diabetic eye disease can cause severe or permanent vision loss and blindness. However, early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease can dramatically decrease your chances of experiencing vision loss. Additionally, controlling your diabetes and taking proper care of your health can prevent future vision loss. Ocular coherence technology allows us to assess how healthy your retina is.
Our doctors are able to detect the earliest signs of diabetic eye disease during your medical eye health evaluation. Since some forms of diabetic eye diseases are asymptomatic before you experience actual vision loss, including diabetic medical eye health evaluations into your wellness routine is essential.
What Causes Diabetic Eye Disease?
Your retinas are made up of tiny blood vessels, and sustained high blood sugar from diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your retina. The disruption of these blood vessels causes many conditions that contribute to vision loss and blindness.
Diabetic Eye Disease Treatment
Although some vision loss from diabetic eye disease is permanent, early treatment reduces the risk of blindness by 95%. Additionally, controlling your diabetes is an excellent way to slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
We treat diabetic macular edema with a variety of treatments, including laser surgery and corticosteroids. Early detection is the best way to protect your vision. If you haven’t scheduled your diabetic eye care exam yet, don’t wait any longer.
How to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease
At EyeXcel, we firmly believe that prevention is the best form of treatment. Since diabetic retinopathy is associated with sustained high blood sugar, maintaining and controlling your blood sugar is essential in preventing diabetic eye disease. Additionally, tending to your overall wellness and maintaining your blood pressure, quitting smoking, and getting vision examinations will go a long way in protecting your vision for as long as possible. Our doctors will communicate with your physicians and referring doctors to ensure a “team approach” to ensuring your diabetes does not complicate your way of life.
Nutrition plays a large role in maintaining healthy eyes. Dr. West frequently shares about how you can enhance your retinal health with nutrition. If you want to know more about how nutrition can bolster your retinal health be sure to ask at your next medical eye examination.
Types of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among patients with diabetes. This diabetic eye disease affects the blood vessels in your retina, causing them to leak or bleed. Consequently, patients with diabetic retinopathy may experience distorted vision or, depending on the severity, vision loss due to scarring or cell loss in the retina. This can be classified as sub-clinical, mild, moderate, or severe. The majority of those with controlled diabetes will fall in sub-clinical or mild categories; however, it’s of utmost importance to have your medical eye evaluation with dilation, fundus photography, and ocular coherence tomography at least every 6 months. It is rare, but some of our moderate to severe categories will need to be reassessed every 3-4 months.
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
Diabetic macular edema occurs as a result of moderate to severe diabetic retinopathy. DME is characterized by the build-up of fluid in the macula, a region near the center of your retina. This can cause blurred or distorted vision, along with vision loss. This will result in a visit to our colleagues, retinal ophthalmologist to determine what appropriate treatment will serve you best.