What is diabetic eye disease management?

Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk for specific eye conditions. A lack of sugar in the bloodstream can damage blood vessels and ultimately damage the eye. We recommend that individuals with diabetes visit their ophthalmologist annually to monitor and treat any eye diseases. Many diabetics are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, which is a very serious diabetic eye disease. They are also at an increased risk for diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Many eye diseases, like diabetic retinopathy, show no symptoms in the early stages. That's why it's important that individuals with diabetes visit the eye doctor regularly.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Individuals suffering from diabetes, whether diagnosed or not, are at a high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. This condition can damage your vision permanently.

In this condition, high blood sugar levels – which are seen in individuals with diabetes – cause damage to the blood vessels. The blood vessels located in the retina can swell and become damaged. In some cases, they can weaken so much so that they leak. In other cases, the blood vessels begin to close. When this happens it limits the amount of blood that gets to the retina, leading to changes in vision and, in severe cases, blindness.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

If you have diabetes, the first step is to work with your primary care or diabetes doctor to get the condition under control through medication and diet. It is then important to monitor your eye health for signs of damage directly related to this condition.

When you do come to our office, we’ll discuss the options for treatment. In some cases, surgery and other treatments may be the best option. Laser surgery, for example, can help to improve vision loss by treating the swelling in the retina. It is not possible to cure diabetic retinopathy, however, treatments are available to slow the progression of it and potentially preserve your vision.

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