Everybody should get regular eye exams. But the importance of people with diabetes getting their recommended exams is critical.
In both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, the high blood sugar is highly involved in damaging the delicate blood vessels in the retina. The resulting damage is called diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, serious complications can lead to significant vision loss.
You can have diabetic retinopathy and not know it. This is because it often has no symptoms in its early stages. As diabetic retinopathy gets worse, you will notice symptoms such as:
- Seeing an increasing number of floaters
- Blurry vision
- Vision that changes sometimes from blurry to clear
- Seeing blank or dark areas in your field of vision
- Having poor night vision
- Noticing colors appear faded or washed out
- Losing vision
Treatment Options: Medical control.
Controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure can stop vision loss. Carefully follow the diet your nutritionist has recommended. Take the medicine your diabetes doctor prescribed for you. Sometimes, good sugar control can even bring some of your vision back. Controlling your blood pressure keeps your eye’s blood vessels healthy.
Treatment Options: Medicine.
One type of medication is called anti-VEGF medication. These include Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis. Anti-VEGF medication helps to reduce the swelling of the macula, slowing vision loss and perhaps improving vision. This drug is given by injections in the eye. Steroid medicine is another option to reduce macular swelling.
Treatment Options: Laser surgery.
Laser surgery might be used to help seal off leaking blood vessels. This can reduce swelling of the retina. Laser surgery can also help shrink blood vessels and prevent them from growing again.