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When you have diabetes, the risks of complications that can impact your vision are higher. Those with diabetes have a high risk of developing diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy. Other diabetic eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, can also occur, but retinopathy is more common.
Diabetic eye disease can lead to permanent vision loss when it is not treated. While treatments done later on in the disease cannot bring back regular vision, they can help decrease the risk of additional vision loss. Going for regular eye exams allows optometrists to check your eyes for early signs of diabetic retinopathy. If evidence of this disease is found, you can have treatment done as soon as possible to help protect your eyes from vision loss. Your chance of lowering your risk of vision loss is higher when this disease is found early.
If you have floaters, double vision, blurred vision, dark spots in the middle of your vision or other signs of diabetic eye disease, it is essential to seek treatment. This disease usually does not cause noticeable symptoms early on. When you have symptoms, it could mean that you have a greater risk of having vision loss occur. At this point, you might be a good candidate to have laser surgery done to protect your vision. This type of surgery involves using a focused light to shrink abnormal growths in the retina or decrease swelling in this part of the eye. Laser surgery for diabetic eye disease is usually done in the office with anesthetic eye drops for increased comfort.
If you have swelling, laser surgery involves making tiny burns near the affected area in order to get rid of excess fluid. This helps reduce swelling and protects from further vision loss. If you have abnormal growths, laser surgery involves shrinking them with lasers. This type of surgery might also help prevent new growths from developing. Keep in mind that you might need to have laser surgery done more than once to improve symptoms and that this treatment does not cure diabetic eye disease.
The most effective way to help prevent this disease from developing when you have diabetes is by managing your condition and keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. If you already have this disease, preventing vision loss involves going for a routine diabetic eye exam in Morristown, TN one or more times per year. The number of times you need to go depends on how well you are managing diabetes and whether or not you have any other risk factors for diabetic eye disease.
If you have signs of diabetic eye disease, please contact our Morristown optometrist for an appointment by calling 423-581-2020. We can provide you with the treatment you need in order to lower your risk of vision loss.