Diabetic eye diseases and their treatment
What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease is a term for several eye problems that can all result from diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body. Diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. It damages small blood vessels in the eye as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 90% of vision loss from diabetes can be prevented. Early detection is key. People with diabetes should get critical, annual eye exams even before they have signs of vision loss. Studies show that sixty percent of diabetics are not getting the exams their doctors recommend.
Diabetic eye disease includes:
- diabetic retinopathy,
- diabetic macular edema,
- cataract, and
Diabetic retinopathy is when blood vessels in the retina swell, leak or close off completely. Abnormal new blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina.
People who have diabetes or poor blood sugar control are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Risk also increases the longer someone has diabetes. One woman developed diabetic retinopathy after living with diabetes for 25 years.
Diabetic macular edema
Macular edema happens when fluid builds up on the retina and causes swelling and blurry vision. Diabetes can cause macular edema. Diabetic macular edema can lead to permanent vision loss.
Diabetes and cataracts
Excess blood sugar from diabetes can causes cataracts. You may need cataract surgery to remove lenses that are clouded by the effects of diabetes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps prevent permanent clouding of the lens and surgery.
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