Diabetes can have a profound effect on the entire body – including the eyes. However, preventing or reducing this effect is possible through diabetic eye care. Our team at Palmetto Eye answers some of the common questions about how diabetes impacts vision and how you can prevent it.
How does diabetes affect the eyes?
Diabetes is a condition that can lead to several issues. It causes fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which restricts blood flow. As your eyes rely on proper blood flow to maintain healthy vision, restrictions can lead to eye swelling, cataracts, glaucoma, and more.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is just one eye condition that diabetes can cause. It is due to irritated, leaky, and damaged blood vessels behind the retina. Two of the most common symptoms include seeing floaters in your visual field and having double or blurry vision.
Can diabetes cause complete vision loss?
Diabetes can lead to complete vision loss over time. However, this is not an overnight issue – it’s due to untreated diabetes and eye conditions. It’s absolutely essential to not only see your general care physician regularly but also have comprehensive annual eye exams. Through these steps, signs of trouble can be detected and addressed early – long before any permanent damage is done.
How can an eye doctor help?
First and foremost, your eye doctor can help with detection and prevention. Each year, you should have your regular eye exam. During this time, your optometrist will look for any signs of potential vision problems.
It’s also important to communicate any medical history or recent diagnosis at this time. If your eye doctor is aware that diabetes is common in your family or that your primary care physician suspects potential problems, we will be able to do further testing through a diabetic eye exam. This will include taking a closer look at the retina and optic nerve, as well as looking for leaking vessels.
If necessary, your eye doctor can provide several treatment methods to help prevent diabetic vision trouble. These methods can include anti-inflammatory medications, laser surgery, and more.