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ALL ABOUT DIABETES & THE EYE
One of the first signs of diabetes are fluctuations in your prescription. When your blood sugar level varies, it causes the intraocular lens (lens in the eye) and/or corneal tissue to change shape, or fluid accumulating in the retina resulting in fluctuations in your prescription. This is the reason why optometrists and ophthalmologists are often the first to detect diabetes during an eye examination. The vision may fluctuate dramatically from day to day, and at different times of the day, until blood sugar levels have stabilized.



DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
The longer a person is diabetic, the greater their chances of developing diabetic retinopathy. Keeping blood sugars normal is the best way to keep the eyes healthy, but control of diabetes does not necessarily insure you against development of diabetic retinopathy.

This is an eye disease that damages the tiny blood vessels that supply the retina (the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that transmits visual images to the brain). The high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood capillary cell walls. As damage progresses the blood vessel walls start to become porous, balloon or rupture letting proteins, blood and other materials leak out abnormally. High sugar levels cause partial or total blockages within existing blood vessels. This leads to swelling of the central retina which results in poor and distorted vision and, if left untreated, eventually leads to blindness from damage to the retinal tissue.

When we examine your eyes early signs of diabetic retinopathy will show. In order to determine the extent of underlying retinal & vascular changes, we will photograph the retina and/or perform an ocular tomography with the HRT II, to measure and monitor changes over time, the extent of central retinal swelling and retinal damage from the retinopathy.



EARLY DETECTION
Fortunately, both macular edema and peripheral retinopathy can be treated with laser surgery. And for those who develop retinal detachment, prompt treatment with various surgical procedures can help to save vision.



REGULAR EYE EXAMS ARE CRITICAL TO PREVENT VISION LOSS
To protect your vision, comprehensive eye exams are needed every 6 months if you are diabetic. Remember, the most dangerous threats to your vision from diabetes give little or no warning. Only by a comprehensive eye examination can these early signs be seen and treatment started before your eyesight becomes seriously affected.


 
 
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