For patients living with diabetes, there are many aspects of their health that they must keep track of. An area that they should absolutely not neglect is their eyesight. It is especially important for adults over 40 with diabetes to have their vision checked annually as the beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy may be present. Younger diabetic patients should also make sure to be examined as prevention is the best possible way to stop the disease; like most diseases it is easiest to prevent at the earliest possible time.
Diabetic retinopathy is a set of vision problems including: blurred and/or cloudy vision, floating blind spots, and vision loss. These occur as a result of unregulated blood sugar in the body. The varying blood sugar levels cause the blood vessels in the eye to become weak, bursting and leaking blood into the eye over time. New, weaker vessels will grow, but often form within the retina, further causing vision difficulties and problems. If unchecked, this could lead to permanent partial or complete vision loss.
Annual eye examinations allow doctors to see exactly how far along the disease is progressing and how to counteract it. There is no absolute cure for the condition, its progression can be slowed and the more damaging effects can largely be avoided. Some of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy are to consistently monitor and control your blood sugar and pressure levels, as well as practicing healthy habits such as diet and exercise.
Treatment options often involve laser procedures. These are designed to break up the weak vessels and stop possible leaks in the others. Optical professionals will be able to identify the correct course of action, but it is essential to have regular eye exams to prevent this condition from causing serious vision problems.
Contact us at Scott and Christie Eyecare Associates to schedule a Diabetic Retinal exam. We happily provide all of the eye care needs to Pittsburgh, Cranberry, as well as all of the surrounding areas.