Diabetes damages small blood vessels throughout the body. The portion of the eye called the retina is particularly susceptible to its effects. Retinal damage due to diabetes – called diabetic retinopathy – can be so mild it causes no symptoms or so severe that it causes blindness. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in people between 20 and 74 years old.
The two major risk factors for the development of diabetic retinopathy are blood sugar control and length of time someone has had the disease. The best way to deal with diabetes is prevention. Good blood sugar control and regular visits with doctors are important in limiting the effects of diabetes.
Eye examinations with a dilated retinal evaluation allow the optometrist to check the retina for damage. Early stages of diabetic retinopathy may be treated by working to control blood sugar. But as it worsens laser, medicine and surgery are sometimes required. Yearly dilated eye exams are critical for anyone who has diabetes. At Advanced Eye Care Associates we dilate all of our patients and evaluate them for diabetic retinopathy.
At Advanced Eye Care Associates we use state-of-the-art instruments to diagnose and manage diabetic retinopathy. We see emergency appointments immediately so that someone with an eye problem, like diabetic retinopathy, can get treatment right away.