For those who aren’t familiar, diabetic eye disease is actually several serious eye conditions that affect people with diabetes, including:
- Diabetic retinopathy – Causes changes to retinal blood vessels which can distort vision; it is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics
- Diabetic macular edema — DME is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the retina
- Cataracts – a clouding of the eye lens; two to five times as likely to occur in diabetics
- Glaucoma – damages the eye’s optic nerve; about twice as likely to occur in diabetics
And all these forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause vision loss and even blindness.
So our patients with diabetes should be reassured to know that The National Eye Institute (NEI) regularly conducts research and funds the research of others that looks for better ways to detect, treat and even prevent the vision loss associated with the condition.
The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) is an organization that tests and compares new therapies for diabetic eye disease. And in fact, research is being conducted in labs and clinical centers all over the country with the goal of bringing innovative trial treatments to all diabetic patients.
Whatever it takes: a technology developed by astronomers
Astronomers were using a technology called adaptive optics (AO) to help improve the resolution of telescopes by filtering out distortions in the atmosphere. For clinicians studying diabetic eye disease, diagnostic devices that use AO may be able to improve eye-imaging techniques, which can help detect diabetic retinopathy at earlier stages.
Controlling diabetes is still the best way to help prevent or delay vision loss
People with diabetes and their physicians are, of course, encouraged by improving technologies and medications. But Dr. Croley will always counsel his patients to protect their vision by controlling their diabetes. That means:
- Taking all medications as prescribed
- Staying active
- Eating healthy
- Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam annually
Help protect yourself from diabetic vision loss with regular eye exams at Florida Eye Institute. Call for your appointment today:
(352)237-8400 or toll-free (800)521-6028.