Diabetic Eye Problems – The Facts

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Diabetic eye problems can be one of the major areas of concern for patients of this condition. The diabetes related medical conditions of high blood pressure and blood glucose imbalances can present some issues for number of the parts of the eyes including the retinas, vitreous, the lens and the optic nerve.

Different types and their effects

There a few different types of eye problem that can affect diabetics. They include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.

Retina damage or diabetic retinopathy is the most common condition and happens when the tiny blood vessels of the retina are damaged by diabetes. Symptoms of a damaged retina affecting vision can include seeing flashing light or floating black spots in one eye only or both together. These symptoms occur in four stages and do respond to treatment involving laser treatment of the retinas blood vessels or having the vitreous rejuvenated.

This condition can affect patients with either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. The good news is that regular annual checkups at a professional optometrists may have the condition diagnosed early will allow early treatment. Occasionally pregnant women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes may be affected. Again an eye test will be a big benefit.

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level will also assist in the onset of retina damage and other eye conditions. It will also reduce other diabetes related health problems. Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in general will also benefit.

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Testing and diagnosis

Diabetic eye problems are not noticeable straight away in the early stages, so it is quite important to have your eyes tested regularly. If you think you might have the condition then you can also pay a visit to your doctor or specialist medical practitioner. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetic eye problems, the more frequent optometrist appointments may be required. Your doctor or optometrist may perform one of several procedures to check for problems including a visual acuity test using a standard eye chart, a dilated eye exam to check the condition of your retinas at the back of the eye or tonometers instruments to check the pressure in the eyeball itself.

If you are diagnosed with a diabetic eye problem there are plenty of proven and simple treatments available. If the condition is detected in an early stage then the treatments will be of great benefit in maintaining healthy vision. For the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy no treatment is needed at all. Blood sugar level control is all that is needed in this instance. If the condition is a little more advanced, then some routine laser surgery may be required. A few visits for treatment will stop the effects and the treatment is very safe. For the small number of patients who have not sought treatment early enough and have lost vision there are opportunities to retain the vision they still have.