Eye Matters
November 26, 2013
Diabetic eye disease: it can steal your eyesight

November is one of the busiest times of the year – everybody is getting their homes ready for the Christmas season. There’s much to do: put up Christmas lights, shop, enjoy the company of family and friends. However, as important as these things are to many, it is still important to take time out during the holiday season to keep up on one’s health.{{more}}

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Most people don’t realize it, but diabetes can have a tremendous effect on vision. It can also affect your nerves and your kidneys. We, therefore, would like to highlight the dangers diabetes can have on your vision and educate on the significance of getting regular eye examinations, so that the dangers are caught early.

Diabetic Eye Disease: What Is It? How It Can Negatively Impact Your Eyesight?

Diabetic eye disease is the primary cause of diabetes-related vision loss and blindness. Diabetes sufferers are up to 30 times more likely to become blind because of diabetes-related eye complications. It is important to note that these complications can affect both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers. Diabetes patients should get their eyes checked at least once a year.

What kinds of vision issues are associated with diabetic eye disease?

1 – Diabetic retinopathy – This is when damage has been done to the retina’s blood vessels. It is the most common vision problem diabetes sufferers have and the primary reason adults go blind.

2 – Cataracts – This is the clouding of the lens and is often a complication of the disease.

3 – Glaucoma – This is the result of an increase in fluid pressure in the eye that can cause loss of vision or optic nerve damage. Patients with diabetes are at risk of two major types of glaucoma: primary glaucoma and neovascular glaucoma.

The Hidden Danger of Diabetic Eye Disease

Due to the lack of symptoms during the early stages, diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy) is extremely dangerous. It is possible that a person can suffer from the disease and never know it until it becomes severe. This is why every person who is diagnosed with diabetes needs to have their eyes regularly checked.

What Treatments Are Offered For Diabetic Eye Disease

There are several treatments your doctor will offer to help with the condition:

– Proper diet

– Medication

– Exercise

– Monitoring of Blood Sugar Levels

– Laser surgery

– Vitrectomy

It is best to talk with your doctor about what treatment option would be ideal for you. Diabetes is nothing to play around with, and if you’re diagnosed with it, you need to take good care of your health and see your eye doctor on a regular basis.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210