Your Hendersonville Optometrist Explains How Diabetes Can Damage Your Eyesight
Diabetes has become something of an epidemic in this country, largely due to the increase in type 2 diabetes cases. But regardless of the cause, chronically elevated blood sugar is a serious threat to eye health. Diabetic retinopathy and related issues can cause progressive vision loss, distorted vision and even blindness. That’s why early detection and treatment is so critical for preserving your eyesight. Fortunately, your skilled optometrist at Hendersonville Eye Care (Dr. Cannon, Dr. Kilgo or Dr. Kampe) can diagnose the earliest signs of a diabetic eye condition and recommend strategies to help you control it.
How would excess sugar in the blood cause any kind of trouble for the eye? Diabetes is known to cause a variety of health complications, including circulatory system damage. This is bad news for the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina of the eye. Blockages in these blood vessels reduce blood flow to the retina, prompting the eye to grow supplemental, weak-walled additional blood vessels. These blood vessels have a nasty tendency to leak blood into the eye. The pooled blood not only interferes with vision, but it can even cause part of the retina to detach, an emergency condition that can cause blindness. More generally, diabetic retinopathy may cause blurred vision, poor night vision and loss of central vision (macular edema).
But as disturbing as these symptoms are, it’s even more disturbing to realize that early-stage diabetic retinopathy may not produce any warning signs at all, causing permanent damage without your realizing it. The only way you can know whether your eyes are at risk is to get them checked regularly — a simple, routine measure that many people sadly don’t bother with. A routine eye exam could even provide your first notice that you even have diabetes!
Diabetic Eye Care and Counseling from Our Hendersonville Optometrist
Our Hendersonville optometrist will perform a comprehensive eye exam to get the best possible view of the back of the eye. If blood spots and other telltale signs of diabetic retinopathy are present, we will urge you to get your blood sugar checked by your primary care provider. Controlling the underlying diabetes is far and away the most important thing you can do to slow or manage a case of diabetic retinopathy. While insulin or other medication may be necessary, many cases of diabetes can be controlled through medically-supervised dietary, exercise and weight loss strategies.
While eye treatments cannot necessarily improve eye function lost to diabetic eye issues, they can certainly help to preserve the eyes’ remaining vision. Possible options include laser treatment or injections to stop blood leakage. If too much blood or scar tissue has collected in the vitreous fluid of the eye, a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy can remove it. We can advise you on the pre-operative post-operative aspects of such procedures. Call (828) 693-5205 today to schedule an appointment or learn more about diabetic eye care!