According to the CDC, the number of American’s who suffer from diabetes in the United States has gone from 5.6 million in 1980 to almost 21 million in 2011. Of these almost 21 million, the number of Americans who suffer from visual impairments related to diabetes, trouble seeing even with their contacts or glasses was 4 million. This number of those suffering from retinopathy alone is expected to increase to 16 million by 2050. While the most well known eye problem generally associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, other visual impairments such as cataracts and glaucoma are also often associated with diabetes as well. In addition to these visual impairments, those who do not adequately control their blood sugar and suffer from sharp increases and decreases in their blood glucose may also face blurred vision due to changes in the shape of the lens causing hyperopia and myopia as well.
How does it work?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs due to gradual damage to the blood vessels in the retina. It can occur in two ways.
- Macular edema or fluid leaks in the center of the macula
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy or new blood vessels which grow along the retina and the surface of the vitreous gel
What can you do?
While diabetes and conditions associated with diabetes which affect the eye may not be prevented in most cases, they can be treated, managed or controlled. The key to maintaining and protecting your vision is to be proactive. Those who are diabetic need to get their eyes checked often and learn to control their blood sugar to avoid the highs and lows, blood pressure and lipids which may all lead to visual impairment.
Early diagnosis and treatment in the early stages of these eye conditions can prevent over half of severe vision loss associated with diabetes. Let your eye doctor know that you are diabetic whether you are suffering from eye conditions or not. If you have diabetes you should get your eyes dilated to look for signs of problems no less than once a year. If diagnosed with any of these conditions, your eye surgeon can advise you as to what measures you can take to protect your vision.
Alpine Eye Care has licensed, board certified ophthalmologists who specialize in diabetic retinopathy and other visual impairments such as cataracts and glaucoma. We understand the need for quality eye surgeons in Grayling MI. If you are looking for an eye surgeon and live near Grayling, MI, contact Alpine Eye Care at 1.877.SEE.2020.
Dedicated to our patients and their care, we are pleased to assist you in all your eye care needs.