What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that affect patients with diabetes. All of these conditions can cause serious vision loss and even blindness. Diabetic eye diseases include:
What is the Most Common Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetes-related disease. It is also a leading cause of blindness in adults in the United States. Sadly, it is largely preventable. For starters, diabetes is epidemic in this country, even among children, due to obesity, which can be prevented. In addition, with early detection and proper care, diabetic retinopathy can be successfully treated to slow the disease’s progression and prevent blindness. Diabetic retinopathy causes retinal blood vessels to weaken. In some cases, these blood vessels leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed), distorting vision. In other instances, abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina itself. This can cause vision loss and eventually blindness.
What are the Symptoms?
Diabetic retinopathy can progress over a long period of time without causing symptoms. Frequently, patients do not experience any discomfort or changes in their vision in the early, most treatable stage of the disease. This is why it’s so important that individuals with diabetes get comprehensive eye exams at least every year. Patients who’ve already been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy may need more frequent exams. During a routine eye exam, in which eyes are dilated, the doctor can detect signs of diabetic retinopathy at the onset. On their own, patients often only notice symptoms once the disease becomes advanced. Blurred vision can develop later, when the retinal center (macula) is already affected by leaking fluids. This condition is referred to as macular edema. When new vessels grow on the retina’s surface, they can bleed into the eye and decrease vision.
Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?
Diagnosing diabetic retinopathy as early as possible is the most effect way to prevent vision loss. If the condition progresses, laser treatment may be necessary. These treatments are used to either, stop or reduce fluid leakage from the eye, or to diminish abnormal blood vessels. Both types of laser treatments can be performed comfortably in our office retinal clinic. With proper follow-up care, we are able to lessen the likelihood of blindness for our patients by over 90%.
Are Retinal Specialists Advisable?
At InVision we have on staff retinal specialists to deliver the best and latest care possible in office for your convenience.
How Does Optos Help?
At InVision we have pioneered the use of Optos to image diabetics eyes allowing for a more complete and accurate assessment of their condition.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!