Diabetes is an increasingly common disease in the United States. As a matter of fact, an estimated 20 million Americans over the age of 20 have a diagnosis of diabetes. This disease can cause damage to small blood vessels in your body that take blood to important organs such as your brain, kidneys, heart, and eyes.
When diabetes causes damage to the eyes it is termed diabetic retinopathy and it may lead to vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy may be characterized by bleeding (hemorrhage), fat leakage (exudates), and swelling in the retina in the back of the eye as noted in the figure below. Treatment usually involves strict blood sugar control, and sometimes laser treatment or the injections of powerful medications into the eye may be needed.
What can I do to prevent diabetic complications in my eyes?
- Strict blood pressure and blood sugar control
- See us at the Eye Treatment Center for a yearly eye exam
- Talk to your primary care doctor or your eye doctor about any vision changes
With early detection and timely treatment, we can prevent blindness in nearly all diabetics. If you are a diabetic, don’t forget to see us at least once a year for a thorough eye examination! We will gladly forward a report of your eye examination to your doctor.