Diabetic eye diseases refer to a group of complications that occur as a result of high blood sugar levels that occur in the body for a long period. Diabetic retinopathy is the more commonly diagnosed first-stage disease that results from uncontrolled diabetes or diabetes that has gone undetected for too long. It refers to the damage done to the blood vessels in the retina of your eyes that can impair vision significantly. To learn further about the disease, a complete guide on the symptoms, progress and treatments is provided below for your reference. 

Symptoms

Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are at risk of diabetic retinopathy although not necessarily diagnosed with it. It is recommended to those individuals to have a dilated eye exam conducted at least once a year after diagnosis as the eyes are very sensitive to changes in the body and can be easily affected by poor health.

The symptoms of the disease become more apparent only as it worsens and therefore goes unnoticed at its early stages. The first sign that can indicate the development of the disease is when you can see floaters which are thread-like structures, crossing your vision. 

This symptom can indicate bleeding in the retinal region of your eye especially within the blood vessels. If you are experiencing difficulty reading or viewing objects and texts close to you, it is likely that you are suffering from macular edema that occurs due to fluid collection in the macula of your eye. Apart from this, double vision can also be a symptom of nerve damage near the eye and must be brought to your eye doctor’s attention. 

Stages

There are several stages to diabetic eye diseases, the first being retinopathy. If it is not treated as soon as possible, the scar caused by the damage to blood vessels within the retina begins to heal. Eventually, this leads to new growth of vessels over this scar tissue that can pull away the retina from the back of the eye and cause further complications- this is known as retinal detachment.

As the retina is needed to detect light and colors, its detachment can lead to blindness in the future if not treated immediately. As the new blood vessels continue growing from the scar, the condition of glaucoma is formed where the optic nerve gets damaged and may lead to vision loss. 

Detection

Ophthalmologists at an eye clinic need to diagnose the condition in your eyes before proposing an effective treatment plan. This is done by conducting certain tests like fluorescein angiography where a dye is injected into the blood to search for its presence in the eye. When the dye is illuminated in the retina of your eyes, doctors can gauge the severity of the disease and treat the condition accordingly. An Optical Coherence Tomography test can also be conducted for the early diagnosis of eye disease.

Precautions and Treatments 

As a precautionary measure and also to ensure the success of any treatment, the first advice given to patients by their eye doctor is to control blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure. Upon the results of the apt tests conducted, a laser treatment, vitrectomy, or Intravitreal injections will be suggested to ensure the best results and reduce the rate of progression for any and every diabetic eye disease.

Laser eye surgery helps you regain your sight when affected by diabetic retinopathy as the laser beam will burn the excessive blood vessel growth and make them shrink. If your eyes have a severe leakage of fluids, laser treatment, or vitrectomy will be suggested depending on the intensity of the disease. Certain drug injections are given when diagnosed with macular edema for your eyes to remain healthy for a longer period. 

Keep Your Health In Check

With the guide provided above, you can be well informed about the various eye diseases and complications that you might face when diagnosed with diabetes. You can then take the right measures immediately to maintain the health of your eyes with the expertise of our team of ophthalmologists at the Ebsaar Eye Surgery Center. Get in touch with our staff today and take a step in the right direction to help support as well as preserve your eyes in the right manner.