Diabetes is a systemic condition that affects how your body makes and uses insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for controlling the sugar levels in your bloodstream or blood glucose levels. Uncontrolled diabetes can have severe implications for your health and eyes.
Focused diabetic eye exams are your first line of defence against diabetic eye disease. Early detection can ensure you get the treatment you need before there is a risk of permanent damage.
If you’d like to learn more about diabetes and your eyes, please contact our office, and our friendly staff will book you in for an appointment!
Because diabetes affects how your body processes sugar, it can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels if it’s not adequately controlled. Too much sugar in your bloodstream can lead to many problems, including some with your heart, teeth, and eyes. Many conditions develop due to uncontrolled diabetes. These are called “diabetic eye diseases” and they can include:
Diabetic retinopathy is prevalent among those with diabetes. It occurs when blood sugar levels are too high, causing damage to the blood vessels in your retina. These damaged blood vessels can harm the retina, which is responsible for your vision.
In the early stages, the blood vessels can weaken, bulge, or leak blood or fluid into the retina. As it progresses, new, abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina’s surface and can lead to serious vision problems.
Unaddressed diabetic retinopathy can lead to further complications, called diabetic macular edema. DME occurs when the ruptured blood vessels cause the macula to swell, leading to significant vision loss or blindness.
Open-angle glaucoma is a common type of glaucoma that occurs when the eye’s drainage angle becomes too narrow for fluid to drain adequately. The buildup of fluid in the eye leads to increased intraocular pressure, which can damage the optic nerve and lead to permanent vision loss.
Your chance of developing open-angle glaucoma nearly doubles when you have diabetes.
Cataracts affect almost everyone as they age, but those with diabetes are more likely to develop them. People with diabetes may also develop cataracts at an earlier age. The high glucose levels in the blood cause deposits to build up in the lenses of your eyes, which can contribute to cataracts’ formation.
The best way to pinpoint early signs of diabetic eye disease is to attend a comprehensive, dilated eye exam.
Some symptoms to watch out for include:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should give us a call as soon as possible. The path to maintaining good health and vision is ongoing, but we’re here to help every step of the way.
We’re located in the beautiful Westlake Professional Center on Westlake Street and Encinitas Boulevard. Access our parking lot off Westlake Street.