Diabetes can Impact your Eye Health
Are You Diabetic?
All diabetics are at risk of developing a range of eye conditions, including glaucoma, dry eyes and diabetic retinopathy, many of these present without warning signs or symptoms in the early stages.
Fortunately, by having regular dilated eye exams, your eye doctor can diagnose and manage the eyes condition to help you avoid vision loss.
Controlling blood sugar levels and scheduling routine eye exams are crucial to lowering your risks of vision loss. Several risk factors associated with diabetic eye problems include:
- Poor blood sugar control
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Excess weight/obesity
Why Are Eye Exams Important?
Since diabetic eye conditions are typically painless and show no symptoms until its advanced stages, many diabetics are unaware until permanent eye damage has occurred.
It’s possible that as the eye conditions worsen, they can cause:
- Poor night vision
- Blurred vision
- Vision loss
- An increased number of floaters
- Colors to appear washed out or faded
- Blank or dark areas in your field of vision
By getting annual eye evaluations, your eye doctor will be able to detect these signs early enough which can help lower your risk or minimize vision loss.
How Can Diabetic Eye Conditions Be Treated?
The treatment options listed below may help improve your vision and eye health;
- Anti-VEGF or steroid injections
- Laser surgery
How Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Prevented?
Below are a few important options you can discuss with your eye doctor;
- Control blood sugar levels
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Keep to a healthy diet and exercise regimen
- Aiming for correct weight or body mass index (BMI)
- Quit smoking
To prevent and manage diabetic eye damage, a multi-disciplinary approach involving your eye doctor and other medical professionals is often needed. Your eye doctor will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to determine your eye health and risk factors, and discuss the range of treatment options.
Contact to schedule your diabetes eye exam, and learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.Our practice serves patients from Woodbridge, Edison, Freehold, and East Brunswick, New Jersey and surrounding communities.
Is there a cure for diabetic retinopathy?
Early treatments can slow the progression of the disease and may even restore any lost vision. The more effective long-term strategy is to control the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy. Once retinal scarring occurs, vision loss is usually permanent.
Even though my diabetes is well-controlled, could I still develop diabetic retinopathy?
Yes. Despite maintaining control over blood sugar levels, patients who’ve had type 1 diabetes for over 20 years can still develop diabetic retinopathy. Other factors, such as inflammation and direct changes to the blood vessels, are also believed to cause this eye disease.
Are there different types of diabetic retinopathy?
Yes. There are two major types:
- Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR) – the early stages
- Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR) – the advanced stages when any new fragile blood vessels appear