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Having diabetes puts you at a higher risk of eye problems that can lead to vision loss when left untreated. If you are at risk of diabetic eye disease, our eye doctor in Morristown offers the following answers to frequently asked questions about this condition.
What Is It?
Diabetic eye disease is used to describe several eye problems that those with diabetes can get. This disease can develop as a complication from diabetes, especially when that chronic illness is poorly managed. Diabetic eye disease includes glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Glaucoma causes optic nerve damage due to higher pressure in the eye, while cataracts cloud the lenses of your eyes, which can result in vision loss over time. Diabetic retinopathy refers to blood vessel damage in your retina.
Which Type Happens More Often?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs most often in those with diabetes. In fact, this type of diabetic eye disease is the most common cause of vision loss among adults in the U.S. It develops when damage occurs in the blood vessels in your retinas from swelling or abnormal growth.
What Are the Signs of It?
The signs of diabetic retinopathy include blurry vision or obstructed vision. Blurry vision occurs when part of the retina becomes swollen from fluid. Obstructed vision can occur when abnormal growth occurs on the retina. However, keep in mind that this disease produces no noticeable symptoms in some cases, especially at the early stages. Finding it as early as possible is the most effective way to ensure that it is treated in order to prevent vision loss from developing.
Who Has a Higher Risk of It?
Close to half of those with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy to some extent. Those with diabetes in general have a higher risk of having this type of disease when they do not keep their blood sugar levels under control, which increases the risk of complications. Having an eye exam done at least once per year involves checking for signs of this disease through pupil dilation. If it detected, treatment options can then be discussed in order to decrease the risk of permanent vision loss.
What Is Diabetic Eye Disease Treatment?
If you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy or another diabetic eye disease, there are ways to have it treated. Diabetic eye disease treatment for retinopathy includes laser surgery, which is done in order to lower the risk of vision loss. It is important to keep in mind that this treatment is not done to restore any vision that has been lost, since this is not possible. Instead, detecting this disease early is a crucial part of protecting your eyes from vision loss.
If you have symptoms of diabetic eye disease or if you have diabetes, it is important to have a diabetic eye exam. Please contact Hyde Eyecare to make an appointment with an optometrist in Morristown, TN for diagnosis and treatment by calling 423-581-2020.