Three Different Eye Diseases Diabetics Need to Watch Out For

People with diabetes are at a greater risk for eye disease.

High glucose levels can damage the blood vessels in the eye, which can lead to vision loss or blindness; many eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages, so regular eye exams are a must for diabetics.

There are many different eye diseases that can plague the diabetic; this article will focus on three particularly serious eye problems: cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

Performance eye, diabetes and eye health

Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more likely to get cataracts, and often at a younger age than people without diabetes. Poor control of blood sugar speeds it up so tight control over your blood sugar and regular eye doctor visits are most important.

Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop within the eye lens, blocking light to the retina where images are processed and making it harder to see. They don’t cause symptoms like pain, redness or tearing. Some might even stay small enough to not affect your eyesight at all.

Large, thick cataracts are generally removed via surgery.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are 40% more likely to get glaucoma, and the longer you have diabetes the greater your chances are. Glaucoma usually has no symptoms, but it can cause bright halos or colored rings around lights. Left untreated, it can cause an increase in eye pressure damaging the optic nerve. This can result in vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma can be diagnosed by your ophthalmologist performing these five exams: tonometry (measuring the pressure in your eye), gonioscopy (inspecting your eye’s drainage angle), ophthalmoscopy (inspecting the optic nerve), a field vision test which tests your peripheral vision, and pachymetry, which measures the thickness of your cornea.

Treatment may include eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to blood vessels inside the retina caused by blood sugar buildup. During the early stages there is no pain and vision is not likely to change. Over time, the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid, and blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye. This can lead to severe vision loss and possibly even blindness.

Retinopathy is diagnosed during a thorough eye exam using a special dye to find leaking blood vessels.

Treatment in early stages is a laser surgery that seals the blood vessels and stops them from leaking and growing. It can’t restore lost vision, but combined with follow-up care, it can lower the chance of blindness by as much as 90%. Later stage treatment may consist of surgery to remove scar tissue, blood and cloudy fluid from inside the eye, improving vision.

As you can see from these three different eye diseases, keeping control of your blood sugar is most important if you wish to keep your eyesight. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

What You Need to Know During National Glaucoma Awareness Month

How much do you know about Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Awareness Month, Glaucoma, Eye Disease

Statistics say that not enough people know about it, let alone are aware they have developed it. According to www.glaucoma.org, “over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma” and “experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it.” If we are going to stop this “epidemic of blindness,” then spreading awareness is key. Here is what you need to know during National Glaucoma Awareness Month:

  1. Early detection is key. While you may not be able to reverse the effects of glaucoma, if you catch it early, progressive development of the disease can be stopped. That means, in order to prevent blindness, you have to catch it during one of your routine eye exams. These exams are vital to detecting glaucoma and creating a plan to prevent further vision loss. Contact Performance Eyecare today to schedule your exam.
  2. Do the research. There are two types of glaucoma: Open-Angle and Angle-Closure. Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common type as it is chronic, accounts for over 88% of glaucoma cases and is almost undetectable without comprehensive eye exams. Angle-Closure develops quickly and needs immediate attention as the symptoms are damaging and noticeable. Visit Glaucoma Research Foundation to learn more about the disease. The more you know about this disease, the more you can raise concern about it to those around.
  3. Talk about it. If you have glaucoma, don’t be embarrassed or keep it a secret. Use it as motivation to get your family, friends, and community to schedule their routine eye exam for early detection. Share your research about glaucoma and spread awareness about this preventable, but not reversible, disease.

Because glaucoma is so common, not only among the American population but around the world, it is amazing more people do not know about it. During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, be sure to schedule your eye exams and help those around you detect its presence before it is too late.