DIABETES AND THE EYE
As Type II diabetes becomes more common in the American adult population, our healthcare system is evolving to meet the demand for care.
In patients with diabetes, elevated blood sugar damages the blood vessels, so the effects are seen in organ systems throughout the body.
The specific consequences for the eyes and vision most commonly begin with leakage of blood vessels of the retina causing bleeding and swelling of the retinal tissue. This can cause blurred or distorted vision if the swelling is in the central vision region called the macula.
If the condition becomes more severe, new blood vessel growth to the damaged area can cause further hemorrhaging and can even cause the retina to detach.
Furthermore, if new blood vessel growth reaches the front structures of the eye, including around the iris, then patients can even get a severe form of glaucoma due to the untreated diabetes.
Fortunately, succesful interventions exist, even once there is already bleeding on the retina. Specifically, injections of medicine that halt blood vessel proliferation can control and even regress the condition. Any of our doctors can examine your condition to assess your best treatment options.
To protect the ocular health and vision, we work with patients and their endocrinolocists and primary care providers to recommend tight control of the blood sugar, and we perform diligent monitoring and early intervention of any ocular signs of diabetes.
Retinal bleeding and exudates from diabetes ("Diabetic Retinopathy")
Blood vessel growth at pupil margin from diabetes ("Rubeosis iridis")
As with all ocular conditions, each patient's eyes, vision, treatment options, and needs may be different. The best way to determine your individual condition and options is by booking an evaluation with one of our doctors! Contact us.