Why should I get a diabetic eye exam?
Diabetes can cause visual problems as well as blindness. It’s actually one of the leading causes of blindness in people in their 50s and younger. As we have birthdays and live with diabetes we are more likely to develop Diabetic Retinopathy to the small blood vessels and arteries in the eye. We are also more likely to develop other eye problems.
Which eye diseases are related diabetes?
Conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, transient blurring and changes in blood vessels of the retina can affect the eyes of diabetic patients. Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes when blood vessels nourishing the retina begin to deteriorate.
In the earliest stage of diabetic retinopathy, sight is not seriously affected and in 80% of diabetics the condition does not progress. If it does progress, straight lines, reading and close work may become blurred. It is important that diabetics have regular comprehensive eye exams to protect against the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
How do I diagnose eye issues from diabetes?
Many diabetic patients with early diabetic retinopathy will not notice any visual problems. Diabetic retinopathy may be affecting only one eye, so a person is unaware of their condition because we function with both eyes at the same time. Other times vision may decrease slowly and again a person is unaware of this gradual change. It is important to keep blood sugar stable. Fluctuation in blood sugar can cause visual disturbances.
What ongoing eye care is necessary with diabetes?
When diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, Dr. Croley will monitor or treat the type of diabetic retinopathy you have. The treatment may vary from periodic exams to laser treatments, as well as medications that may stabilize or even improve vision. The laser treatment used to seal off the damaged blood vessels will not restore vision that is already lost due to diabetes, but will stabilize and stop the progression of the disease in the eye. It is still strongly advised that diabetics of any age have a complete exam on a yearly basis even if they are a well controlled diabetic. Uncontrolled diabetics need to be seen more often.