Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes.
Over time, diabetes can harm the eyes, resulting in poor vision and even blindness. Common eye conditions that result from diabetes include diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.
If you have diabetes, you can take steps to minimize its effects on your vision and health. Consult with an ophthalmologist at Wilkinson Eye Center.
Types Of Diabetic Eye Disease
The following eye diseases can develop as a result of diabetes:
Diabetes increases the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which is characterized by weak blood vessels in the eyes that leak or protrude into the retina. The proliferation of blood vessels on the retina itself, as a result of these blood vessels closing off over time, can result in eyesight problems.
Diabetics are twice as likely to get glaucoma than other people. This sight-threatening disease can develop without outward signs, making glaucoma screenings even more important for those with diabetes.
Diabetic Macular Edema
With this disorder, the macula of the retina expands to the point where vision is adversely affected. Diabetic macular edema is considered an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy.
Cataracts can affect almost anyone, but the risk for diabetics is much higher. This disease causes the lens to get cloudy, which inhibits vision.
Symptoms Of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye diseases are progressive. This means that they can come on slowly, even over a period of years.
In many cases, early symptoms are mild or — as in the case of glaucoma — non-existent.
When symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Straight lines appearing wavy
- “Sparkles” in the field of vision
- Diminished color perception
- Increase in “floaters”
- Patches of darkness in field of vision
- Blurred vision
- Reduced ability to see well at night
- Increase in eyewear prescription changes
How Is Diabetic Eye Disease Diagnosed?
The first line of defense against diabetic eye disease is to establish regular comprehensive eye exams with your ophthalmologist.
He or she may run multiple tests, including:
- Vision acuity testing
- Glaucoma testing
- Peripheral vision testing
How Is Diabetic Eye Disease Treated?
Your treatment plan will depend on your diagnosis.
Your ophthalmologists can treat diabetic eye disease in a variety of ways, including:
- Prescription medication to reduce eye pressure
- Laser treatment to treat blood vessels and edema
- Vitrectomy surgery, to remove scarred vitreous humor gel from the interior of the eye
- Cataract surgery, if cataracts have formed due to diabetic eye disease
In addition to the treatment that you receive from your ophthalmologist for diabetic eye disease, it’s important to manage diabetes with the help of a primary care physician.
Diabetes threatens your health and your vision. Take steps now to protect your eyesight by contacting an ophthalmologist at Wilkinson Eye Center.