Diabetic Eye Care

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a condition in which the body cannot produce enough insulin, which results in high blood sugar (glucose). When insulin production is low, blood sugar can spike to dangerous levels. A common side effect of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is Diabetic Eye Disease.

Diabetic Eye Disease is one of the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States.

What Eye Problems Can Diabetes Cause?

Diabetic Eye Disease refers to a group of eye problems that can cause severe vision loss, or even blindness, in people diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most common eye complication diabetics develop and is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in American adults. High blood sugar causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Over time, diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss in both eyes.
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME). The macula is the part of the retina that provides our sharp/reading vision. In Diabetics, the blood vessels near the macula can leak, causing the macula to swell, which reduces vision. In many cases, early detection and treatment with medications and/or laser can reduce loss of vision.
  • Cataracts. In healthy people, the eye’s lens is naturally clear. Diabetics, however, are more likely to develop cloudy lenses, which results in cataracts. Cloudy cataracts cause blurred vision and ultimately, blindness. Surgical removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with a clear plastic lens (Implant) can restore good vision in most people.
  • Glaucoma. Diabetic patients are twice as likely to get glaucoma than non-diabetics. Glaucoma is typically caused by increased fluid pressure inside the eye, or from bad circulation to the optic nerve which leads to optic nerve damage, loss of vision and possibly permanent blindness. Early detection and treatment with medications or painless laser treatments can reduce the harmful effects of diabetes on the optic nerve, saving vision.

How to prevent diabetic eye disease

Typically, there are no symptoms of early-stage diabetic eye disease. You may not feel any pain or notice any vision loss. This is why eye exams are so important for diabetics. Scheduling yearly appointments allows your eye doctor to monitor the blood vessels in your eye for any damaging changes. Early detection of eye diseases can prevent vision loss or blindness in the future.

If you have diabetes, you are more likely to experience serious eye complications and vision loss. In order to reduce your risk of diabetic eye disease, it is important to commit to these three steps:

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar is under control, you can slow damage to the blood vessels in your retina — a common eye complication for diabetics. High blood sugar levels can also cause temporary blurred vision.
  • Manage your blood pressure. In diabetics, high blood pressure can worsen your eye problems or lead to eye disease. Make it your goal to have blood pressure under 140/90.
  • Schedule regular eye exams. If you have diabetes, we strongly recommend scheduling a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. A full examination from your doctor is the best way to detect diabetic retinal damage and establish a treatment plan.

If you are seeking the best diabetic eye care in Winston Salem, you came to the right place. Our eye care experts are proud to provide high quality eye treatment for diabetics. Call us at 336-659-8180, or request an appointment online today.

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Featured Testimonial:

Thank you for your compassion and care you show to your patients. I could no longer see the colors of the world. They were so cloudy. When you restored my vision--WOW! Thank you!! I am enjoying the flowers. May God bless you and your staff.

- Nancy R.