While most people with diabetes understand the importance of maintaining a relationship with a physician who can monitor them for other risk factors like high blood pressure and heart disease, not as many know that having an eye doctor they trust and visit regularly is just as vital. Diabetics have increased odds of developing serious eye conditions that can rob them of their vision. Here, Dr. Jay Schwartz outlines to patients in Scottsdale, Glendale, Phoenix and Mesa, AZ a few of the eye conditions people with diabetes are especially vulnerable to:
Diabetes may slowly harm the blood vessels in the eyes. If the blood cannot reach the retina through existing vessels, the body tries to create new blood vessels. Unfortunately, these new vessels are prone to leaking, which can cause significant vision loss (and even blindness). Diabetic retinopathy is not curable, but treatments like laser surgery or anti-VEGF injections can help to limit the damage that the condition causes.
Blood sugar spikes are responsible for most of the harm inflicted on the eye, which means that the optimal way for patients to protect their eyes is to manage their diabetes by monitoring blood sugar levels and taking prescribed medications.
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition marked by an accumulation of pressure inside the eye that gradually damages the optic nerve. Diabetics are twice as likely to have glaucoma as people who do not have diabetes. However, they may not realize they have the condition until it has already caused significant damage. Because symptoms are difficult to spot, early detection by way of regular examinations from an eye doctor is critical. Treatments including laser surgery or eye drops can relieve pressure in the eye and preserve vision.
Cataracts occur when a buildup of proteins on the eye’s natural lens obstructs light from passing through normally, leading to hazy or blurry vision. The rate of cataracts is higher in people living with diabetes. Experts suspect that this occurs because diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the eyes and cause the aqueous humor to swell. The good news is that cataract surgery is an effective and relatively simple way to replace a cloudy lens with an artificial intraocular lens that restores clearer vision.
Make an Appointment Today
If you have diabetes, you need to undergo periodic comprehensive eye examinations. The team of optometrists at Schwartz Laser Eye Center can help keep you to monitor your ocular health and prevent vision loss. If diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts do become a problem, these conditions can be treated by one of our respected ophthalmologists, Dr. Schwartz or Dr. Orry Birdsong. Please call (480) 483-3937 or 1(888) 553-3937 to arrange an appointment.