Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20-74. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to visit the eye doctor regularly for check-ups and comprehensive care. At Lake Orion Vision, the team of optometrists provides diagnosis and treatment of diabetes-related vision problems like diabetic retinopathy. To schedule an appointment at the practice in Orion, Michigan, call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.
The term diabetes refers to a group of chronic diseases that negatively affect your body’s ability to regulate blood glucose (sugar).
Everyone needs some blood sugar to survive, as it provides energy for your muscles and fuels your brain. However, if your blood sugar levels are too high, it increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart disease, vision loss, and diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetes can negatively affect your eyes in a variety of ways. The team at Lake Orion Vision diagnoses and treats several diabetes-related eye problems, including:
Many people with diabetes experience blurry vision. This can occur for several reasons, including high blood sugar, fluid leaking into the lens of your eye, or diabetic retinopathy. If you regularly experience blurry vision or increased sensitivity to light, make an appointment with your eye doctor right away.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the back of your eye (retina). Early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include floaters, blurry vision, and difficulty perceiving colors. When left untreated, diabetic retinopathy may cause blindness.
If you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to experience glaucoma compared to healthy adults. Glaucoma causes the pressure at the back of your eyes to increase, damaging your optic nerve. Common signs of glaucoma include eye pain, red eyes, and seeing halos around lights.
Diabetic macular edema occurs when your macula –– the center of the retina –– swells due to leaking fluid. About one in 10 people with diabetic retinopathy also experience macular edema.
To diagnose diabetes-related eye problems, the team at Lake Orion Vision conducts a comprehensive eye exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, including the type of foods you eat, if you exercise, and whether diabetes runs in your family.
Afterward, your provider orders an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan. This advanced tool provides highly-detailed retinal images. It can also track the damage caused by diabetic neuropathy and other issues over time.
Treatment for diabetes-related eye problems depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause. When diagnosed early, it’s possible to manage diabetes with healthy lifestyle changes and insulin therapy.
More serious diabetes-related eye problems may require surgery or injections. If necessary, your provider can refer you to a diabetic eye specialist in the area.
To learn more about treatment for diabetes, schedule an appointment at Lake Orion Vision. Call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.