Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Did you know Diabetes can affect your vision?

Diabetes Awareness Month, Performance Eyecare, Diabetes, Eyecare in Stl, Eye Doc In Il

Diabetes is a debilitating disease affecting over 29 million Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2014 Statistics Report, more than one-fourth of this population is not diagnosed. Although most commonly associated with controlling blood sugar levels, diabetes is a systemic disease that, left untreated or poorly managed, can cause damage throughout the body including the heart, kidneys and retina. It is also a leading cause of blindness in the US (National Eye Institute).

November is recognized as National Diabetes Month. Take the time to learn your risk factors and, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, learn how you can protect your vision.

Diabetes’ impact on the eyes

Diabetes causes progressive nerve damage and damage to the blood vessels leading to the retina, resulting in several types of diabetic eye disease:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: When the blood vessels are damaged, they will leak blood or other fluids, causing distorted vision and blindness.
  • Diabetic macular edema: The macula is in the center of the retina, and enables sharp central vision. Diabetic retinopathy can cause the macula to swell: blurring vision.
  • Cataracts: Although most people will develop cataracts, diabetics often develop cataracts earlier in life.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve due to elevated pressure in the eye. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than other people.

Diabetics can protect their vision and improve their health by:

  • Managing blood sugar levels through good nutrition, exercise and (if prescribed) medication;
  • Regular doctor visits to monitor HBA1C (blood glucose) levels and kidney function;
  • Annual complete dilated eye exams. In a dilated exam, your eye doctor can see things that might not be apparent through a routine vision screening.

For more information on Diabetic Eye Disease and protecting your vision, contact Performance Eyecare.

Diabetic Retinopathy

a diabetic injecting himself with insulin, Performance Eyecare

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to have regular eye exams, at least once per year. Diabetes increases your risk of eye problems, so it is important to not delay in caring for your eyes.  However, you are also at risk for diabetic retinopathy: damage to the blood vessels located in your retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

This disease is the most common among those suffering from diabetes – both type 1 and 2; is the leading cause in America for blindness. In some people, the blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid, however in other people you may develop new vessels on the surface of your retina. This eye disease typically affects both eyes, not just one.

If you are diagnosed by Dr. Massie to have diabetic retinopathy, he will also recommend a treatment to help the progression of this disease which may include more than one visit to the doctor per year. Do not let this go untreated.

To find out how to treat this eye disease, or to make an appointment for your annual checkup, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Massie or Dr. Cuff. Appointments can be made online or by calling:

  1. Creve Coeur, MO Location: 314-878-1377
  2. Swansea, IL Location: 618-234-3053
  3. Alton, IL Location: 618-465-8652