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Each year, approximately 1.4 million people are diagnosed with diabetes in this country, according to the American Diabetes Association. A percentage of those individuals will develop an eye disease associated with the condition such as diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema. Having diabetes also increases your risk of developing common eye problems like cataracts or glaucoma. At Hyde Eyecare, our Morristown optometrist provides a comprehensive eye exam for all patients to rule out diabetes-related eye diseases that can lead to blindness.
Diabetic eye disease is an umbrella term for conditions that occur in people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to one of the critical elements of vision – the retina, a light-sensitive lining located at the back of the eyeball. Light striking this lining triggers nerve impulses that allow you to see.
There are two main diseases our Morristown optometrist looks for during a diabetic eye exam:
Both of these serious conditions will eventually lead to vision impairment. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely it is you will suffer damage to the retina, especially if you fail to get regular eye exams and treatment.
Individuals with diabetes often have blurred vision caused by fluid buildup behind the lens of the eye. This is a side effect of the blood sugar fluctuations they experience as a result of their disease. Other symptoms to watch for include:
If you experience any of these problems, it is important to tell our optometrist when you come to the office for your exam.
The prescribed treatment will depend on many factors including advanced the damage is to your eyes, how controlled your diabetes is and your overall health. After completing a comprehensive diabetic eye exam in Morristown, TN, our optometrist might use medication to reduce the inflammation or stop the formation of new blood vessels. Some patients may require surgery to replace the gel-like fluid in the eye or to repair the retina. You will need to continue to get diabetic eye exams regularly to monitor your progress and prevent further complications.
Even if you are not diagnosed with diabetes, have your eyes checked at least once a year. An optometrist will do an inspection of the retina looking for signs of progressive eye diseases that affect your vision. Changes in your eye health may be the first indicator that you have diabetes, as well.
If you have diabetes or notice changes in your vision, give us a call at 423-581-2020 to make an appointment now.