The Potential Impact of Diabetes on Eye Health

March 6, 2019 12:01 am Published by Leave your thoughts

One might not consider diabetes and eye health to be linked if they are unfamiliar with the science behind these issues, but the truth is that diabetes, in some circumstances, can have a significant effect on eye health.

There exists such a thing as diabetic eye disease, a category of eye conditions that specifically affect people with diabetes. These include some familiar types of eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts, which are more likely to affect people who have diabetes than people who don’t, as well as diabetes-specific issues, such as:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: This is the most common cause of vision loss among people who have diabetes, and also the leading cause of blindness and impairment among adults of working age. The condition affects the blood vessels in the retina.
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME): This is a condition that results from diabetic retinopathy, and is a form of swelling in a part of the retina called the macula.

By prioritizing regular eye exams in Lancaster, OH, you can determine your potential risk for these conditions early on, allowing you to mitigate their effects.

Symptoms and detection of DME and diabetic retinopathy

The early stages of diabetic retinopathy typically do not have any symptoms associated with them, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to undergo regular eye exams—only with these exams will you be able to catch the condition before it worsens and begins affecting your vision.

As the issue progresses, you might begin to see “floating” spots in your field of vision, caused by bleeding from abnormal retinal blood vessels. These spots might clear up by themselves, but otherwise, if left untreated, you could experience recurrences of bleeding, along with permanent vision loss.

There are several methods that are used to detect the presence of these conditions during a standard eye exam with dilation. These include:

  • Visual acuity testing: An eye chart that measures a person’s ability to see at certain distances. One example of such a test is the familiar test that has you read letters and words at various sizes from across a room.
  • Tonometry: A test that measures the pressure inside of your eye. Elevated levels of eye pressure indicate a higher risk factor for the development of these eye conditions.
  • Optical coherence tomography: This is a technique that is similar in some ways to ultrasound, but uses light waves instead of sound waves to capture images of some of the tissues inside the body. It offers detailed images of light-penetrable tissues, including the eye.
  • Pupil dilation: The eye doctor will place drops on the surface of the eye to dilate the pupil, which allows for easier examination of the eye.

For more information about the various impacts that diabetes can have on eye health and the steps you should take to be proactive with your comprehensive eye care in Lancaster, OH, we encourage you to contact the experts at Price Family Eye Care Professionals LLC today. We look forward to scheduling your next exam!

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