In part one, we examined what diabetes is and how it affects our eye health. We began a discussion on diabetic retinopathy, which we’ll continue, and we’ll address later diabetic macular edema.
Diabetic eye care is an eye care service we address at Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts. Together, we’ll help you manage your eye health and how it pertains to diabetes. Continue the conversation, and join us in this second part on eye conditions today!
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when your retina is damaged from consistently elevated blood sugar level that negatively impacts your vision and can eventually cause blindness. Understand the implications below.
What can affect the risks of diabetic retinopathy?
People living with diabetes, whether it’s type 1 or type 2, are at an increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The risk factors include:
The best prevention for avoiding diabetic retinopathy is to control your blood sugar levels with a prediabetes diagnosis and steering clear of getting type 2 diabetes. If you are living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you can better prevent or delay it in the following ways:
The sooner diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, the more chances there are in preserving and saving your eyesight. We’ve mentioned this a couple times, but truly, getting a yearly eye examination is imperative for anyone, but especially if you’re living with diabetes. A dilated eye exam complete with retinal photographs is essential. Both of these eye care services will assist the eye care specialist in creating the best treatment option and how to best monitor the progression.
An eye examination will cover the following when looking for diabetic retinopathy:
DME is related to a fluid buildup in the macula — the area at the center of the retina. We know the retina is the part of the eye responsible for constructing images, and the macula is the part of the retina responsible for straight-ahead and sharp vision.
As an excess of fluid compounds in the macula, it distorts our vision. As the macula swells, it blurs vision.
People living with diabetes are at risk of developing DME over time. Vision changes and symptoms related to DME include:
DME can be developed and affected by the following risk factors including:
It is known that the longer one has diabetes, the more susceptible they are to DME. Over time, nearly all those with type 1 diabetes and 60 percent of those with type 2 diabetes will be affected by either diabetic retinopathy, DME, or both. Below are ways in which to better help prevent DME.
In addition to a routine eye exam, diagnosing DME may include the following:
Both diabetic retinopathy and DME are eye conditions attributed to diabetes. When you partner with your ophthalmologist and get your yearly eye exams, prevention and early detection can lead to a better outcome and saved eyesight!