If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or if you have lived with this condition for several years, you have probably been warned that this disease can cause problems with your eyes. There are several different ways that things can go wrong, but the root cause of all these issues can be a condition called diabetic retinopathy. We at Primary Eyecare and Optical of Meridian in Meridian, MS, know a lot about diabetic retinopathy.
How Diabetic Retinopathy Progresses
As sugar levels increase in the blood, the blood vessels thicken, and the heart must work harder to push the blood through the body. This can cause several problems around the soft, thin tissues of the eyes. To start, increased blood pressure in these areas can cause the tissues in this area to swell. As this happens, the eyes can become red and puffy, allowing them to become more easily irritated. The eyes might also seem to bulge out, as the swelling will effectively squeeze them out of their eye sockets. Some of the blood vessels will become blocked
Because the blood vessels are blocked, the optic nerve will stop getting enough blood. This will cause the eye to grow weaker blood vessels that will begin to break and bleed. The lack of blood to the optic nerve will cause the nerve to fail at processing the visual data that it constantly collects and sends to the brain. When this process starts to fail, the brain interprets the lack of visual data as blind spots in a person's field of vision. This may eventually lead to blindness
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it's crucial that you make an appointment to see an eye doctor. If these conditions are caught early there are things that can eb done to improve them. Controlling your blood sugar, of course, is the most important factor, but it is possible to make lifestyle or medication choices that can lower blood pressure and alleviate lot of the main problems with this complication from diabetes. If damage is being done to the optic nerve, it's important to catch it early with an eye exam.
Contact Us for More Information from an Optometrist on Our Team
If you live in the Meridian, MS, area and you have diabetes, call our office at Primary Eyecare and Optical of Meridian (601) 485-2020 to discuss your condition with an eye doctor on our team. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms today, it's important to have an eye exam to screen for any other vision issues. This information will later be used by the optometrist on our team to compare if you start to have problems with your eyes. Visit us to help better your eye health.
TRUSTED DIABETIC RETINOPATHY TREATMENT OPTIONS
Millions of people in the US and around the world suffer from diabetes. This dangerous inability to manage blood sugar can do a great deal of damage to the body, including a potentially blinding disease called diabetic retinopathy. This disorder affects the retina, the light-collecting tissue in the back of the eye. Without early diabetic retinopathy treatment, the eye itself sustains permanent damage from elevated, uncontrolled blood sugar.
HOW WE TREAT IT
As the name suggests, diabetic retinopathy is caused by diabetes. Diabetes may be congenital, but many people are diagnosed with the disease later in life. In addition to genetics, diabetes may be caused by obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, hormonal abnormalities, and pancreatic disease. When left untreated, you may develop diabetic retinopathy.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may be given little warning that your retinal tissues are being damaged. As the blood vessels beneath the macula, a part of your retina that controls central vision, become weakened they may bulge and break causing macular swelling. If this happens you may experience “floaters”, blind spots in your vision, or blurry vision. As the disease progresses, your eye hastily manufactures new blood vessels, which leads to increased bleeding in the eye. If your diabetic retinopathy goes untreated, it may lead to catastrophic vision loss.
Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can make all the difference in preventing damage to your eyesight. Our eye doctors and vision care specialists routinely look for signs of diabetic retinopathy during your annual comprehensive eye exam. An important part of diabetic retinopathy treatment is gaining control over diabetes itself, so we work closely with your primary care physician to develop a treatment plan. We may also prescribe medication to reduce swelling and prevent additional blood vessels from forming.