Diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease, affects almost 33% of diabetes sufferers over the age of 40. If you have diabetes, regular eye exams at Westminster Eye Center in Westminster, California, can help you avoid vision loss and other eye problems associated with diabetic eye disease. Patient-focused ophthalmologist Christine Nguyen, MD, offers early detection, management, and prevention of all kinds of diabetic eye disease. Call the office or schedule your appointment online today.
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye diseases caused by, or sometimes caused by, diabetes. The most common diabetic eye diseases include:
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy causes blood vessel leakage in the retina, which leads to swelling. Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy can also potentially lead to blood vessel closure, which is called macular ischemia. With nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, you don't typically have severe symptoms, but your vision's often blurry. This condition can grow more serious, eventually becoming proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy, blood vessel blockage triggers new abnormal blood vessel growth in your retina. The new blood vessels are very prone to leakage, which may lead to scar tissue buildup and possible retinal detachment. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is very dangerous, as it can cause both central and peripheral vision loss.
Diabetic macular edema occurs when the macula, the specific part of your retina responsible for central vision, swells because of new blood vessel growth caused by uncontrolled blood sugar. It can cause central vision loss.
Glaucoma isn't always related to diabetes. But, if your retinal blood vessels swell enough to block eye fluid outflow, it can spike intraocular pressure. This leads to optic nerve damage characteristic of glaucoma.
Uncontrolled high blood sugar can sometimes cause cataracts, as well. At Westminster Eye Center, Dr. Nguyen checks for all of these diabetic eye diseases during your eye exams.
Dr. Nguyen recommends an eye exam schedule based on your personal needs. Generally, diabetes sufferers should have comprehensive eye exams at least once a year. Your comprehensive eye exam includes not only refraction tests but also eye health screenings and diabetic eye disease management as needed.
Treatment varies according to the particular disease and how advanced it is. All treatments require close blood sugar control, and Dr. Nguyen may also recommend laser surgery, intraocular injections, cataract surgery, or other advanced interventions to preserve your eye health and vision.
Don’t risk your vision if you have diabetes. Call Westminster Eye Center or book online to get diabetic eye disease screening, diagnosis, and management from the area’s top ophthalmologist.