Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of elevated blood sugar. Some individuals may experience 10, 20, or sometimes even 30 years of completely normal vision before they notice changes. Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss, which is irreversible. At Eye-Site of Boynton Beach in Boynton Beach, FL, our optometrists can assess for diabetic retinopathy and detect it early to avoid severe eye problems. There are several important things you should know about diabetic retinopathy if you are at risk for the disease.
How Diabetic Eye Diseases Affect Your Eyes
Diabetic retinopathy and other diseases, like diabetic macular edema and cataracts can cause many vision problems. These conditions occur in response to high blood sugar. If your blood sugar remains too high, it causes damage to the blood vessels in your eyes and can result in leakage of fluid into your retina. Your eye will try to grow new blood vessels, but they don’t develop correctly, and can cause more severe vision problems.
Diabetic Eye Diseases Are Common
Many people are prone to diabetic eye disease. Those with high blood pressure and high blood sugar are at risk. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes can develop eye disease. Those with diabetes may have undiagnosed eye disease. This condition may develop slowly and may be hard to detect, but can become serious very quickly. Diabetic retinopathy is the cause of over 80% of all cases of new blindness among Americans aged 20 to 74.
Symptoms Appear Late
Symptoms of this condition include blurry or wavy vision, or new floaters. If your vision is changing frequently or you are experiencing other symptoms, it is important to visit our optometrists right away.
Get Treatment Right Away
Non-proliferative retinopathy is the early stage of the disease, when symptoms are less pronounced. Unless there is leakage in the macula, you may not notice any vision changes. At this stage, the disease can be stopped or at least slowed down by careful control of your diabetes. The advanced stage is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy. This is when new blood vessels have attempted to grow within the retina. In this stage, you may need medications, injections, laser surgery, or other procedures.
The earlier your diabetic eye disease is detected, the easier and safer it is to treat. By getting routine eye exams, you can make sure any signs are caught early. If our optometrists notice something while examining your eyes, we can perform further tests and treatment if necessary.
Get Your Annual Eye Exam
Everyone needs an annual eye exam, but this is especially important for those with diabetes. At Eye-Site of Boynton Beach, our optometrists can perform diabetic eye exams to look specifically for diabetes-related eye changes. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call us today.