Do you, or someone you care about, live with diabetes? This chronic health condition is on the rise in the US, so it’s essential to go for regular eye exams in order to detect diabetes and take immediate action to manage it. By taking care of potential health risks associated with diabetes, such as damage to your vision, you can continue to live a full and happy life.
Diabetes can affect eye health in several ways. Some of the most common eye problems associated with this condition are diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. Let’s explore these conditions and how they can affect your vision.
Are you living with diabetes? Contact us at Eye Trends Summerwood today to arrange a consultation and take control of its effect on your eye health.
What is Diabetes and How Does it Impact Your Body?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the regulation of your blood sugar levels. There are two main types: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system attacks the cells in your pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps your body use glucose for energy.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, which occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough on its own.
High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, including the blood vessels in your eyes. This damage can result in a number of conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema.
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Damage from Diabetes
The early signs of eye damage caused by diabetes may not be noticeable. However, as the damage progresses, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Flashes of light
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Pain in or around your eye
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult an eye doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and the correct treatment can help prevent or slow the progression of diabetic eye diseases.
Diabetic Eye Diseases: Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication affecting many people living with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye that sends images to your brain.
In diabetic retinopathy, the retina's blood vessels become damaged. This can lead to leakage of blood and fluid into the retina, which can cause vision loss. With early diagnosis and treatment, most people with diabetic retinopathy can prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
Diabetic Eye Diseases: Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a condition that occurs due to fluid build-up in the macula, the central part of the retina. The macula sharpens your central vision. DME can cause blurred vision, distortion, and loss of central vision. It's the leading cause of vision loss among people with diabetes.
Prevention Strategies and Importance of Regular Eye Exams
Following these tips can help reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye diseases and preserve your vision.
- Maintain stable blood sugar levels through diet and medication
- Regular exercise to improve overall health and circulation
- Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Attend annual eye exams to detect early signs of diabetic eye conditions and preserve your vision and overall well-being
Treatment Options for Diabetic Eye Diseases
There are a number of treatment options available for diabetic eye disease. The type of treatment you will receive depends on your condition's severity.
Some of the treatment options for diabetic eye diseases include:
- Laser treatment: Laser treatment can help to seal leaking blood vessels in the retina.
- Injections: Injections of medications, such as anti-VEGF, can help to reduce the amount of fluid in the macula.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be required to remove scar tissue or treat severe diabetic retinopathy.
The Role of an Eye Doctor in Managing Diabetic Eye Diseases
If you have diabetes, seeing an optometrist for regular eye exams is vital. They will detect any signs of diabetic eye diseases early on when treatment is most effective. Your eye doctor will also be able to discuss the best treatment options for you. They can also help you understand the risks and benefits of each treatment option.
Diabetes-related Eye Care in Houston
Diabetes can significantly impact your eye health, but you can safeguard your vision for a brighter future by taking action. Get in touch with Eye Trends Summerwood in Houston today to arrange a consultation and take charge of your eye health.