Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects how your body processes blood sugar (glucose). When your body can’t process sugar, it remains in your bloodstream. High blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems, including:
If you have diabetes, you should undergo annual eye exams specifically designed to address your eye health needs in relation to your disease. At Total Vision, we can provide you with individualized exams using advanced diagnostic technology focused on detecting early signs of diabetic eye disease.Put your eye health first, and please book an appointment with our Total Vision team.
If you have diabetes, you likely know there’s a risk to your eyes if your blood sugar levels climb too high.
You won’t experience vision loss immediately, though. Those with temporary high blood sugar levels will likely experience blurred vision in the short term that will go away once these levels return to normal.
If your levels remain high for too long, sugar in your bloodstream can damage the tiny blood vessels that supply your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. Most diabetic eye conditions begin with retinal damage, leading to 4 common diabetic eye diseases: diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Diabetic retinopathy begins with damage to the blood vessels that supply the retina. This damage occurs when blood sugar blocks the tiny vessels, causing them to bulge, weaken, and eventually break, leaking fluid into the retina.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, damaged blood vessels become closed off, prompting the retina to grow new, abnormal blood vessels. These vessels are fragile and can break and leak fluid into the vitreous, leading to floaters. This new growth also creates scar tissue, which can cause retinal detachment.
Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy caused by leaking fluid. At the center of the retina is the macula, the area responsible for sharp, clear, straight-ahead vision. As fluid collects behind it, the macula can swell, causing visual distortions or even permanent vision loss.
When the eye’s drainage flow is interrupted by abnormal blood vessel growth caused by diabetic retinopathy, it can cause glaucoma. In fact, patients with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as patients without diabetes.
About 30% of patients with diabetes over 40 have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. Indeed, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in those with diabetes. But early diagnosis, swift treatment, and regular eye care can reduce the risk of blindness by 95%.
Diabetic eye diseases are diagnosed during a dilated eye exam. Pupil dilation coupled with our advanced diagnostic technology gives us an unprecedented view of your eyes’ internal structures, meaning we can catch diabetic eye diseases in their earliest stages.
Treatments vary depending on the disease. In many cases, you may require treatment for the rest of your life. An eye disease diagnosis can be scary and life-changing, but know that our Total Vision team is on your side. We’ll always ensure you understand your results and teach you how to successfully navigate life with eye disease. You’ll never be alone while under our care. If you have diabetes, make sure you undergo a dilated eye exam every year. You can achieve strong, healthy eyes for many years with regular eye care and a professional healthcare team. Let Total Vision become a part of that team by calling our office to book an appointment.
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