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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or are prediabetic, your eyes need special care and attention. If your diabetes is not under control, you can lose vision and even become blind. 

Our board-certified ophthalmologists with Wolchok Eye Associates, PA are the experts you want to see to ensure your eye health. With regular eye examinations and proper care and treatment for your eyes, we help you maintain your vision while living with diabetes. 

The following are three eye diseases that can result from diabetes. All can cause loss of vision. Early treatment is critical in achieving optimal results. 

Diabetic retinopathy

Blood vessels carry nutrients to all body parts, including your eyes. If you have uncontrolled high blood sugar, the blood vessels in your eyes can become swollen, leading to leaks that cause blurry vision. Blood flow can even stop, preventing the flow of nutrients. 

If you have diabetic retinopathy, sometimes the blood vessels leak into the macula, a part of your retina. The macula becomes swollen, resulting in blurred vision, which means you have diabetic macular edema.  

We treat your diabetic retinopathy based on the severity of the condition. Medicine, injections, laser therapy, or surgery are options. You should seek treatment if you’ve recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes require regular eye checkups. 

Cataracts 

You may think of cataracts as a condition you don’t have to be concerned about until you’re a senior, but diabetes makes you more prone to cataracts when you’re younger. If you develop cataracts, the clear lens in your eye becomes cloudy. It becomes difficult to drive at night; you’re more sensitive to the glare of the lights. If you wear glasses, you need increasingly strong prescriptions. 

If you notice your vision diminishing, it’s important to make an eye appointment. Diabetes can cause protein deposits in your eye lens, which become cloudy — now you have cataracts. When your cataracts interfere with normal daily functioning, it’s time to consider surgery. 

Glaucoma  

Glaucoma is an eye disease with four major types. When you have diabetes, you’re at double the risk of the most common type of glaucoma (open-angle glaucoma). You’re also at risk of acute angle-closure glaucoma, a medical emergency. 

Glaucoma harms the optic nerve in your eye. The front of your eye contains fluid. If the fluid is slowed or blocked, pressure builds up in your eye, damaging the nerve. The optic nerve is critical to your sight; it carries messages from your retina to your brain. 

In the case of open-angle glaucoma, the pressure in your eye can build up slowly so that you don’t notice it. That’s why regular eye checkups are critical. Treatments include medicine, laser therapy, and surgery. 

Call Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, today or book an appointment online for expert eye care and treatment. 

 

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