Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of this disease. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. Common diabetic eye diseases include:
Diabetic Retinopathy – The retina is the inner lining that covers the back of the eye. It converts any light that hits the eye into signals that can be interpreted by the brain. This process produces visual images and it is how sight functions in the human eye. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels within the retinal tissue, causing them to leak fluid and distort vision. Early signs of diabetic retinopathy are blurry vision, floaters, loss of central vision and black spots in the area of vision.
Diabetic Macular Edema – The part of your retina that you need for reading, driving and seeing faces is called the macula. Diabetes can lead to swelling in the macula which is called diabetic macular edema. Over time, this disease can destroy the sharp vision in this part of the eye, leading to partial vision loss or blindness.
Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve—the bundle of nerves that connects the eye to the brain. Diabetes doubles the chances of having glaucoma which can lead to vision loss and blindness if not treated early. Symptoms depend on which type of glaucoma you have.
Cataracts – The lenses within our eyes are clear structures that help provide sharp vision—but they tend to become cloudy as we age. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cloudy lenses, called cataracts. People with diabetes can develop cataracts at an earlier age than people without diabetes. Researchers think that high glucose levels cause deposits to build up in the lenses of your eyes. Cloudy vision and faded colors are symptoms of cataracts.
If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined regularly, at least once a year to check for signs of diabetic eye disease. To schedule an examination with one of our doctors in Phoenix, contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com today.