Diabetes and Eye Care
- Posted on: Oct 6 2014
Diabetes is a chronic condition defined by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin on its own. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects millions of Americans who suffer from the disease.
Changes in blood sugar levels can often lead to an increased risk of this disease, which damages the small blood vessels that nourish the retina. This kind of damage may result in blindness.
Here are some of the most important things to know about diabetic retinopathy.
- Prevention is key. People who already have diabetes, or are at risk of having the disease due to genetics or lifestyle, must have regular check-ups with an eye care specialist. Prevention of this condition is key, so patients should effectively manage their diabetes by monitoring their blood sugar levels, keeping their blood pressure under control, and paying attention to any changes in their vision.
- Your treatment needs depend on your condition. If you are experiencing the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you may not need treatment right away, though your condition will have to be carefully monitored by your doctor so it does not advance. If you have an advanced form of diabetic retinopahy, however, you will likely need surgery. Your treatment options will likely include laser surgery, or the more advanced procedure, vitrectomy. Vitrectomy is performed in a hospital, under local or general anesthesia, and is used to remove blood from the middle of the eye, slowing progression of diabetic retinopathy.
- Speak with your doctor. Because diabetes is a lifelong condition, even surgery is not considered to “cure” diabetic retinopathy. It will only treat it. If a patient’s diabetes is not controlled effectively, future vision loss or blindness may not be possible even with surgery. Because of this, it is important to speak with both your eye doctor and endocrinologist about your treatment plan. Together, the three of you can create an effective plan that will keep your eyes healthy, and your diabetes managed for a long time.
Diabetic Eye Care in Southern California
To learn more about diabetic eye care, we encourage you to contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Lynwood, Downey, La Habra and Whittier. We look forward to serving you.
Posted in: Diabetic Eye Health