Did you know that November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month? Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can result from diabetes. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing diabetic eye disease, which can lead to vision loss and even blindness.
According to the National Eye Institute, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults aged 20-74.
Types of Diabetic Eye Disease
There are three main types of diabetic eye disease: diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common type of diabetic eye disease and occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can make vision blurry. Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure builds up in the eye, damaging the optic nerve and causing vision loss.
Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy usually doesn’t have any early symptoms—vision loss can happen gradually as damage to the retina progresses. With cataracts, symptoms may include blurred vision, double vision, faded colors, poor night vision, halos around lights, and increased sensitivity to glare. Glaucoma may cause no symptoms in its early stages but can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, blurred vision, tunnel vision, and even complete blindness if left untreated.
Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease
The best way to prevent diabetic eye disease is by keeping your blood sugar levels under control through diet, exercise, and medication if necessary. It’s also important to get regular eye exams so that any changes in your eyesight can be detected early on and treated accordingly. Treatment for diabetic eye disease may include surgery, laser surgery, eye injections, or prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Diabetic eye disease is a serious problem that can lead to vision loss or even blindness if left untreated. If you have diabetes (or are at risk of developing diabetes), it is important to get eye exams on a regular basis! Contact us today to schedule your eye exam at our office in Andalusia.