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Diabetic Eye Disease is associated with various eye conditions and complications that diabetics experience causing vision loss or even blindness.

Diabetic Retinopathy is the one of the most common sight threatening eye diseases in the United States and around the world. Diabetic Retinopathy is the most serious ocular complication of diabetes and occurs when damage to the tiny blood vessels, which provide oxygen to the retina, become damaged. The damage allows blood and fluid to escape into the retina and can also result in new blood vessel growth. These new vessels are even more fragile and frequently bleed into the vitreous.

diabetic

Patients with the most serious form of diabetic retinopathy (proliferative) are at a substantial risk for severe visual loss without treatment.

Facts:

  • Early treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy can reduce the chance of severe vision loss by 50-60%
  • It's the most common cause of blindness in the United States for persons age 20-74
  • 80% of all cases of blindness in this age group are from DED
  • At least 50,000 Americans are considered legally blind from this condition
  • Diabetic eye disease is responsible for 10% of the new cases of blindness reported annually
  • It has been estimated that up to 1/3 of the patients with Diabetes receive no regular eye care
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Causes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gestational Diabetes
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Symptoms:

  • Changes in refractive error
  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Double vision
  • Swollen blood vessels
  • Eye Drainage
  • Occasionally, there are no symptoms
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Types:

  • Abnormal blood vessels can form and leak blood into the center of the eye (Proliferative Retinopathy)
  • Fluid can leak into the center of the macula, blurring vision (Macular Edema)
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Diagnosis:

  • Eye examination
  • Pupil Dilation
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Treatment:

diabetic treatment

Currently laser treatment has been shown to be effective in treating certain forms of Diabetic Retinopathy. Treatment with a laser is a painless, in-office procedure which results in few complications.

Although laser treatment will not always result in improved vision, it can reduce the risk of developing severe vision loss and progressive vision loss in up to 50% of patients.

Regular eye examinations by your family optometrists will determine whether you have Diabetic Eye Disease. All patients with Diabetes should have a routine dilated eye examination on a regular basis. Regular visits to your family optometrist will ensure a lifetime of healthy eyes and good vision.

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Related Terms:

Mild Nonproliferative, Moderate Nonproliferative, Severe Nonproliferative, Proliferative Retinopathy, Vitreous Humour, Macular Edema
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