Can Diabetes Cause Major Eye Damage?
Can diabetes cause major eye damage? This article will discuss the causes and treatment options of diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar can damage the eyes in several ways, affecting vision in different ways. In adults, high blood sugar leads to cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, and blurry vision. The eye's lens may become swollen, impairing vision. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years.
Diabetic retinopathy causes vision loss
If you have diabetes, you may have heard that diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss. But what exactly is this disease? Diabetic retinopathy is the accumulation of damage in the eye's blood vessels. This condition has two types, namely proliferative and nonproliferative. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) affects the retina, and it causes the retina's blood vessels to grow abnormally. In this stage, new blood vessels begin to grow on the retina and leak fluid into the eye. Over time, larger blood vessels may develop irregularities and leak blood into the retina, which clouds the vision.
During a dilated eye examination, your ophthalmologist can diagnose diabetic retinopathy. Diagnostic tests may include fluorescein angiography, a specialized test that shows the blood vessels in the retina. Fluorescein angiography, which uses dye to highlight blood vessels in the retina, allows doctors to determine if any of them are damaged or bleeding.
If you're a diabetic, you're also at risk for a serious complication of the disease called diabetic macular edema. This condition causes the macula (the part of the retina that gives you sharp vision) to swell and become inflamed. This is one of the most common reasons people lose their vision. If you're diabetic, you should visit a retinologist as soon as possible to have your eyes checked.
Glaucoma from diabetes
Diabetics are more prone to developing glaucoma than nondiabetics. This condition results from an abnormal buildup of fluid within the eye. This fluid can damage nerves and blood vessels, causing changes in vision. Symptoms of glaucoma may not be noticeable until later, although it can be detected during a routine annual eye exam. Glaucoma treatment includes medications and special eye drops, laser treatments, and surgical procedures that can help reduce the pressure in the eye.
Diabetic patients should get yearly dilated eye exams to detect any early signs of glaucoma. An annual eye exam is the best way to prevent the disease from progressing and causing major damage to your vision. A dilated eye exam is crucial for diagnosing glaucoma because it will help your doctor identify any nerve damage issues. In addition, your eye doctor will measure the pressure of your eyes and the width of the cornea to detect any damage to the eye's optic nerve.
Diabetes is a common cause of glaucoma and its complications. It increases the risk of developing this condition by increasing eye pressure and blocking the natural drainage system of the eye. This process is slow and gradual, and the effects of glaucoma will slowly worsen over time. Patients with diabetes should seek medical attention for glaucoma early on if they have the disease. It is possible to prevent glaucoma by getting regular eye exams and reducing the amount of glucose in the blood.
Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy
Early detection of diabetic retinopathy can slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options vary depending on the stage of the disease, likelihood of progression and amount of vision loss. Treatment can stabilize or even reverse the effects of the disease. Laser surgery or intravitreal injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitor drugs can reduce abnormal blood vessels. The early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy are crucial for successful management of the disease.
The early stages of diabetic retinopathy are called background retinopathy. These symptoms affect both eyes and are often not evident during the early stages. The underlying cause of diabetic retinopathy is high blood sugar. Damage to blood vessels in the eye results in leakage, which results in swelling of the retina. However, even in the early stages, the risk of diabetic retinopathy increases with the duration of diabetes. For Type 1 patients, the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy is around 80 percent, while Type 2 patients are at 84 percent at that point.
The more invasive surgery is called vitrectomy. This surgery removes the swollen blood vessels in the vitreous, which prevents light from focusing on the retina. The patient can then enjoy clear vision following this procedure. The surgeon may also perform laser photocoagulation as part of the treatment. If the vitrectomy does not correct the condition, the patient should undergo regular follow-ups. The vision can deteriorate with time and regular injections of corticosteroids can be helpful.
Programs like Diabetes Freedom can help you control your diabetes and improve your eye condition.