A Quick Guide to Diabetic Eye Disease
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, and if you have diabetes, then there are several things that your ophthalmologist near Chicago would want you to know about diabetic eye disease, which refers to a group of eye conditions that can affect individuals who have diabetes. Keep reading for a quick guide to these diseases.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. This condition develops when blood vessels in the retina are damaged, and it is more likely to develop in diabetics with poorly controlled blood sugar. Early stages of this eye problem may not produce symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may experience symptoms such as floaters or dark spots, poor color vision, blurry vision, and vision loss.
Diabetic Macular Edema
Some diabetic patients who develop diabetic retinopathy may also experience a complication of this condition called diabetic macular edema. In diabetic retinopathy, high blood sugar damages blood vessels in the retina. Sometimes, this process can result in microaneurysms that leak fluid into the retina. The excess fluid results in swelling in the retina, can affect the person’s vision, and may even result in blindness.
Your eye’s lens, which is located behind the iris, is supposed to be clear and is designed to focus light that passes through the eye. When the lens forms a clouded spot, the area is referred to as a cataract. A cataract develops when proteins in the lens clump together, and this problem can impair your vision and make everyday tasks a challenge. There are many risk factors for cataracts, but adults who have diabetes are much more likely to develop this problem than those who do not have diabetes. Your ophthalmologist can diagnose this condition and discuss whether you should undergo cataract surgery.
Glaucoma refers to conditions that damage the eye’s optic nerve, and it is a leading cause of blindness. Early stages of this disease typically do not produce symptoms, and diabetes greatly increases the risk of glaucoma in adults. For these reasons, it’s vital to schedule regular eye care appointments with your ophthalmologist.