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Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye DiseaseDiabetes can negatively impact your eyes and even cause vision loss in some cases.

In this post, the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons discusses the group of conditions known as diabetic eye disease.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

High blood glucose caused by diabetes can damage your eyes. You most likely won’t notice any immediate effects on your vision. However, the damage may be occurring even if you don’t have any symptoms.

Over time, the tiny blood vessels in your eyes may become swollen or broken. This can lead to any of the following eye conditions, which are collectively known as diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy involves damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. These blood vessels can swell or leak. Abnormal blood vessels may also begin to grow.

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis is critical, so make sure you get regular dilated eye exams if you have diabetes.

Diabetic Macular Edema

The macula is a part of the retina used for certain types of vision. If the macula becomes swollen, it can cause a partial or full loss of vision.

People who have diabetic macular edema often also have other signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to your optic nerve. It is often caused by a fluid build-up in the eye that results in increased pressure. Over time, this increased pressure can cause blindness.

There are several treatment options for glaucoma, but it must be caught early on. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma than the general population.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a clouding of the lenses in the eyes. This can result in blurry vision, poor night vision, and other vision problems.

Age is a risk factor for cataracts, but people with diabetes may be more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age.

Protect Your Vision

If you have diabetes, you need to take extra precautions to keep your eyes healthy, including:

• Managing your blood sugar through a healthy lifestyle.
• Quit smoking.
• Get a dilated eye exam at least once a year, or more frequently if recommended by your ophthalmologist.

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, there may be signs of diabetic eye disease that can only be detected during an eye exam. Early detection could allow you to take preventative treatment measures and keep your vision.

Schedule your dilated eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons by contacting our Reading, PA office today.

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