If you have diabetes, you are at risk for diabetic eye disease, which is a group of eye problems that can damage the eyes and lead to vision loss or even blindness.
These eye problems include:
Cataract: Clouding of the lens of the eye.
Glaucoma: Increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision.
Diabetic retinopathy: Damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common of the diabetic eye diseases. It often has no early symptoms; however, the disease often progresses unnoticed until it affects vision. Bleeding from abnormal retinal blood vessels can cause the appearance of “floating” spots. These spots sometimes clear on their own. Vision loss usually cannot be restored but that vision loss can be prevented or minimized with early detection.
Visit your eye health professional as soon as possible if you notice:
- Dark spots in the field of vision
- Blurred and distorted or double vision
- Lines or cobwebs that move across your field of vision
Protect Your Vision
People with diabetes are at risk of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in adults and one that may be prevented or delayed by careful control of blood glucose. People with diabetes also may be at greater risk for eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. Ocular symptoms associated with diabetes include fluctuation in visual acuity, double vision, dry eye, recurrent lid infections (blepharitis), and changes in color vision
How to Manage your Diabetes
The risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy can be reduce by knowing your diabetes ABCs.
Talk to your health care team about how to manage your A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol. This can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems.
A for the A1C test
The A1C is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. It is different from the blood sugar checks you do each day.
B for Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels.
C for Cholesterol
There are two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL.
LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. It can cause a heart attack or stroke.
HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels
Can Diabetic Retinopathy be treated?
Vision loss as a result of Diabetic Retinopathy cannot be restored. Early detection leads to early treatment. Treatment is often successful and can prevent vision from getting worse. Treatment options vary for each patient, so it is important that you discuss your options with your eye health professional.
The two most common forms of treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy are:
LASER: This treatment seals blood vessels and stops them from leaking. Generally, laser treatment is used to stabilized vision, not necessarily to improve it.
VITRECTOMY: If blood has leaked into the centre of the eye the vitreous gel get must be removed. A Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the vitreous gel and replaces it with saline solution.