Diabetes and Your Eye​

Diabetes and Your Eye

Diabetic eye disease, a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes, is a serious and often sight-threatening complication of diabetes. The two most common forms of diabetic eye disease are diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, both of which can cause vision loss if left untreated. Understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options for diabetic eye disease is essential for individuals living with diabetes to protect their vision and maintain eye health.

Risk Factors and Causes:

Diabetic eye disease develops as a result of high blood sugar levels damaging the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Several factors increase the risk of developing diabetic eye disease, including:

  1. Duration of Diabetes: The longer someone has diabetes, the greater their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
  2. Poor Blood Sugar Control: High blood sugar levels over an extended period can accelerate the progression of diabetic eye disease.
  3. High Blood Pressure: Hypertension can exacerbate damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
  4. High Cholesterol Levels: Elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can contribute to the development of diabetic eye disease.
  5. Pregnancy: Pregnant women with diabetes are at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

In its early stages, diabetic eye disease may not cause noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Fluctuations in vision
  • Floaters or spots in the field of vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision

Regular comprehensive eye exams are crucial for diagnosing diabetic eye disease in its early stages. During these exams, the ophthalmologist will dilate the pupils to examine the retina for signs of damage, such as leaking blood vessels or swelling.

Treatment Options:

The treatment for diabetic eye disease depends on the specific condition and the severity of the damage to the retina. Treatment options may include:

  1. Laser Photocoagulation: This procedure uses a laser to seal leaking blood vessels in the retina and reduce swelling.
  2. Intravitreal Injections: Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications may be injected into the eye to reduce abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage.
  3. Vitrectomy: In advanced cases of diabetic retinopathy, a surgical procedure called vitrectomy may be performed to remove blood and scar tissue from the vitreous gel in the eye.

Prevention:

Preventing diabetic eye disease involves managing diabetes effectively and undergoing regular eye exams. It’s essential for individuals with diabetes to:

  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication.
  • Control high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Attend annual comprehensive eye exams to monitor for signs of diabetic eye disease.

By taking proactive steps to manage their diabetes and prioritize eye health, individuals can reduce their risk of developing diabetic eye disease and preserve their vision for years to come. Regular communication with a trusted ophthalmologist at Peachtree Ophthalmology in Norcross, GA, is key to maintaining optimal eye health and preventing vision loss associated with diabetic eye disease.

How To Contact Us

Our eye clinic is ideally located close to the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Rd and Spalding Dr. Serving Norcross GA, Duluth, Sandy Springs, Roswell & Johns Creek.

Address

4045 Wetherburn Way, Ste 1
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092

Phone & Fax

770-285-7910
770-609-8356

Office Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sat & Sun: Closed

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