Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect your heart, nerves, feet and kidneys. But did you know it can also affect your eyes? November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month so we want to take some time to educate our patients about the ways this disease can affect their eyes.
Two of the most common diabetic eyes diseases are macular edema and diabetic retinopathy. Having diabetes can also make you more likely to have other eye conditions, including cataracts and glaucoma, although these conditions are not directly related like the first two.
At Ighani Eye Care, our experienced doctors, Dr. Ighani and Dr. Anding are highly skilled clinical ophthalmologists, with expertise in a wide range of eye services, from medical eye exams to the diagnosis, treatment and management of complex eye diseases, including diabetic eye disease.
Diabetic Retinopathy Can Lead to Vision Loss
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common microvascular complication that people with diabetes deal with. Diabetes causes the weakening of the tiny blood vessels of the retina. As a result, fluid and blood leak from these weakened vessels, and new vessels that grow can be distorted and begin to bleed. The progression of these issues is what defines diabetic retinopathy. Over time, these changes can injure the retina, leading to loss of vision.
How Will I Know If I Have Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy most often develops without any warning signs. Damage to the retina occurs slowly and may go unnoticed until there is significant damage. For this reason, anyone with diabetes should receive regular monitoring by a trusted eye specialist.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, you will likely notice symptoms such as:
- An increasing number of floaters in your vision
- Blurry vision
- Vision that changes sometimes from blurry to clear,
- Blank or dark areas in your field of vision
- Poor night vision
- Colors appear faded or washed out
- Vision loss
Diabetic retinopathy symptoms typically affect both eyes.
How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy at Ighani Eye Care is highly individualized, taking into account your age, medical history, lifestyle and degree of damage to your retina. In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy may not require treatment beyond regular monitoring. Once your examination is complete, Dr. Ighani will develop a treatment plan customized to you.
How to Prevent Vision Loss from Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have diabetes, work with your primary care physician to control your blood sugar as high blood sugar damages retinal blood vessels and can lead to vision loss. If you have high blood pressure or kidney problems, ask your doctor about ways to manage and treat these problems.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is to see us regularly for dilated medical eye exams. Diabetic retinopathy may be found before you even notice any vision problems. Beyond that, if you notice vision changes in one or both eyes, call us right away.
I Care. You’ll See.
At Ighani Eye Care, it is our singular goal to help each of our valued patients to enjoy life to the fullest with the vision they deserve. Whether you are a new patient or we have served you and your family for years, you can expect to receive the highest level of care while being treated with respect, honor and warmth. We care! You’ll see! Schedule your comprehensive eye exam today.