Diabetes is a disease characterized by blood sugar levels that are too high. As time progresses, these high sugar levels can damage the delicate blood vessels within the eye, leading to serious eye conditions that can threaten the health of the eyes. It is important for patients to be aware of the connection between diabetes and eye function, especially since certain diseases do not exhibit symptoms until after the eyes have significant damage. The team at Schwartz Laser Eye Center are experts and can recognize and treat serious diabetic eye diseases. Learn more about these conditions below.
Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina, which is located at the back of the eye. When a person has this condition, the blood vessels in the retina swell, and fluid can begin to leak into the eye. If it goes untreated, patients can suffer vision loss. Retinal detachment is also a risk and is a medical emergency that can cause permanent loss of vision.
Diabetic Macular Edema
The macula is the area of the retina that is responsible for clear central vision. Diabetic macular edema occurs when weakened blood vessels leak into the macula. Sometimes, new blood vessels can grow, but these often develop abnormally and are also at risk of leaking.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that target the optic nerve. It typically has no symptoms when it is first developing. Glaucoma is related to heightened intraocular pressure. When fluid builds up in the eye, it puts pressure on the internal structures, which damages the optic nerve and may result in blindness if it is not treated. However, even individuals who do not have high intraocular pressure can develop glaucoma, which is why it is essential to attend regular eye appointments. This is especially important for people with a family history of the disease or who are otherwise considered at high risk of developing glaucoma.
Cataracts occur when the naturally clear lens of the eye becomes clouded. While this condition is common among aging adults, those with diabetes are at risk of cataracts at a younger age. High blood sugar levels can cause deposits that build up in the lens of the eye, contributing to its cloudiness.
Diabetic Eye Disease Treatment in Mesa
Diabetes requires consistent management to prevent the loss of healthy eye function. Even if you believe your eyes are healthy, eye examinations can help our doctors spot signs of disease and provide treatment before certain problems worsen. To schedule your appointment, contact our office today.