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Diabetic Eye Care

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Vision?

Diabetes occurs when your body does not properly process food as energy. With diabetes, your body does not produce or respond to insulin, which delivers glucose (blood sugar) to your body. Having too much glucose can lead to damage around the blood vessel and nerves that run throughout your body, including your eyes.

Diabetic Eye Exams

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, we want to stress the importance of having regular complete and comprehensive dilated eye exams to evaluate the health of your eyes and detect any changes or issues. Some issues that our doctors would be looking for in a patient with diabetes are:

Diabetic Retinopathy

The leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic Retinopathy is when changes in the retina’s blood vessels cause growth or abnormal new blood vessels on the retina’s surface, or leaking of the vessels.

Macular Edema

The macula is the center of the retina that provides sharp and clear vision, can swell due to blood vessels caused by diabetes that begin to leak. This can result in blurred vision. A comprehensive eye exam can catch this, when a diabetic patient may otherwise think its just time for glasses.

Glaucoma

Neovascular glaucoma is caused by diabetes. High sugar levels can damage blood vessels belonging to the retina which could create of abnormal new blood vessels. When new blood vessels grow on the iris (the colored part of the eye), it increases the eye’s pressure and glaucoma.

Cataracts

Cataracts can form earlier and progress faster in people with diabetes due to the increase in sugar in the blood. We can assist the patient in cataract surgery and help maintain the patient’s vision with proper management of the diabetes with their primary care doctor. 

Chart Illustrating a Normal Retina vs One Experiencing Diabetic Retinopathy

Recommendations for Diabetic Patients

Control Your Blood Sugar

Your Primary Care Doctors can provide direction on how to properly manage your glucose and blood sugar levels. In connection with your PCP, we can help monitor and maintain your vision.

Lower Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

As you are reading you can see how important visits to your primary care doctor alongside our eye doctors are important to your vision. Together we can help combat issues that worsen diabetic eye diseases in patients.

Stop Smoking

Smoking causes further damage to your blood vessels which are already of great concern as a diabetic patient.

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