Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among the working-age population. But there’s good news: up to 90% of diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented.
Diabetic patients and those with family histories of the condition need regular eye exams to prevent and help manage severe vision loss.Pittsfield Vision Associates, PC in Pittsfield can help you manage diabetes and your eye health, no matter if you’ve just been diagnosed or if you’ve been living with it for many years.
Diabetes: How Does It Affect the Eyes?
Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to process or produce enough insulin, a hormone that breaks down sugar. The following eye conditions are more likely to develop when blood sugar levels are higher than normal:
- Diabetic retinopathy – new, fragile blood vessels develop under the retina causing leakage
- Diabetic maculopathy – degeneration of the macula, the part responsible for fine details in vision
- Glaucoma – a condition caused by too much pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve
- Cataracts – a cloudy formation in the eye’s natural lens
Fortunately, early detection and treatment can slow their progression and help safeguard your vision.
Preventing Diabetes-Related Eye Problems
Everyone with diabetes experiences sugar spikes, but the more controlled your diabetes, the better your eye health. Diabetes-related vision problems can be prevented by following these recommendations in consultation with your healthcare provider:
- Keep your blood sugar level and body mass index (BMI) at an optimal level
- Maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a regular exercise regimen
- Don’t smoke
- Schedule a diabetic eye exam annually or as recommended by your eye doctor.
Treating Diabetic Eye Disease
The following treatments can be used to treat diabetes-related eye disease:
- Eye injections that inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
- A laser photocoagulation procedure used to treat diabetic macular edema.
- Surgically removing the vitreous gel of the eye, also known as vitrectomy. This treats problems associated with proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
After assessing your eye health, your Pittsfield eye doctor will determine which treatment is best for you.
Call Pittsfield Vision Associates, PC in Pittsfield today to schedule your consultation.