Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy has 2 main stages:
Early stage : Blood vessel walls in the retina weaken and bulge, forming tiny pouches . These pouches can leak blood and other fluid, which can cause a part of the retina called the macula to swell and distort your vision. Macular edema is the most common cause of blindness in people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of people with diabetic retinopathy will develop macular edema.
Advanced stage : In this stage, the retina begins to grow new blood vessels. These new vessels are fragile and often bleed into the vitreous . With minor bleeding, you may see a few dark spots that float in your vision. If theres a lot of bleeding, your vision may be completely blocked.
You may not notice symptoms in the early stage. Thats why its very important to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year to catch any problems early when treatment is most effective.
Symptoms in the advanced stage can include:
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
Visit Louisiana Eye & Laser
At Louisiana Eye & Laser, we have helped countless patients with diabetes get the clear, healthy vision they deserve. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are experiencing blurry vision, our highly-trained and professional staff are here to help. Additionally, all diabetics should receive a yearly dilated eye exam to check for diabetic retinopathy, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. Simply call, go online or stop by one of our offices to schedule an eye exam today!
Blurry Vision Coupled With Restrictive Eating
I have struggled with an eating disorder for 6 years now. I long for the days when I didnt think or worry about food. Today, my eyes went blurry for a couple hours I started sweating, had a headache and felt like I was going to pass out. I know that it has been a week of waiting for long periods of time to eat and then purging is this what is causing the blurred vision and dizziness? What exactly is going on within my body? anonymous Dear anonymous, Thank you for your question. Blurry vision coupled with restrictive eating patterns is likely caused by low blood sugar levels. The body must operate under a certain constant level of blood sugars. When blood levels of sugar decrease, it can cause some of the symptoms you describe like sweating, headaches and blurry vision. As someone becomes underweight or malnourished from restricting, the bodys usual stores of sugar get depleted and the body actually breaks down proteins in muscles in an attempt to maintain adequate blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels can be extremely dangerous. In addition to the symptoms youve already described , it can also actually cause loss of consciousness, seizures, and even coma. It is extremely important that you are under the care of a medical physician in addition to a psychotherapist and nutritionist. See Finding Treatment for more information. I do hope the best in your recovery from an eating disorder.Continue reading > >
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How Will My Eye Doctor Check For Diabetic Retinopathy
Eye doctors can check for diabetic retinopathy as part of a dilated eye exam. The exam is simple and painless your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate your pupil and then check your eyes for diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems.
If you have diabetes, its very important to get regular eye exams. If you do develop diabetic retinopathy, early treatment can stop the damage and prevent blindness.
If your eye doctor thinks you may have severe diabetic retinopathy or DME, they may do a test called a fluorescein angiogram. This test lets the doctor see pictures of the blood vessels in your retina.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Eye Disease
Often there are no early symptoms of diabetic eye disease. You may have no pain and no change in your vision as damage begins to grow inside your eyes, particularly with diabetic retinopathy.
When symptoms do occur, they may include
- blurry or wavy vision
- frequently changing visionsometimes from day to day
- dark areas or vision loss
- poor color vision
- spots or dark strings
- flashes of light
Talk with your eye doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
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How Can You Prevent Vision Loss From Diabetes
If you have diabetes, looking after your eyes with regular check-ups and healthy lifestyle choices is essential for preventing serious problems.
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Eye health is important for everyone. But for people with diabetes, the risk of eye disease and vision loss is much higher, making regular eye checks an essential part of your care plan.
Around one in three people with diabetes will develop some form of diabetic eye disease, most commonly diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that most diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented as long as its detected and treated early.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for people to wait for their vision to be reduced before they present for a diabetes eye check, says Associate Professor Peter van Wijngaarden, a Principal Investigator and Deputy Director at CERA.
By that time the eye disease is often advanced and more difficult to manage. Early detection is the key to best outcomes.
Too many Australians are experiencing diabetes-related vision loss, because approximately half of those with diagnosed diabetes are not receiving eye examinations within the recommended timeframes.
How can diabetes affect your eyes?
In the short term, high blood glucose levels can cause blurred vision. This is due to temporary changes to the shape of the lens in your eye. When your blood glucose levels are stable again, your vision should return to normal.
Managing your eye health
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. It affects blood vessels in the retina .
If you have diabetes, its important to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms at first but finding it early can help you take steps to protect your vision.
Managing your diabetes by staying physically active, eating healthy, and taking your medicine can also help you prevent or delay vision loss.
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Intermittent Fasting And Blurred Vision
Like the keto diet, intermittent fasting is another trendy means of shedding pounds. Most intermittent fasting plans involve abstaining from food for many hours or restricting food to just one meal a day. But like any diet that restricts calories, intermittent fasting can take your blood sugar on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, Palinski-Wade says.
When you go long periods of time without eating, such as during a fast, the body can drain energy stores and see a drop in blood sugar levels, she says. For most individuals, blood sugar will not drop dangerously low, yet a blood sugar on the low end of normal can make you feel fatigued or shaky or cause mental fogginess. Again, if blood sugar dips low enough, you may experience blurry vision.
If youve noticed vision changes after starting a new eating plan, it may not mean you have to drop the diet. Still, its best to get the problem checked out. Any time you experience blurry vision, you should speak to your physician to determine the cause, Palinski-Wade says. If the underlying cause is dehydration or low blood sugar, diet should be adjusted to prevent further drops in blood sugar and/or hydration status.
What You Need To Know About Diabetes And Blurry Vision
An estimated one third of people who suffer from diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. Very often, a visit to the eye doctor for unexplained blurry vision or sudden eye problems serves as the mechanism through which diabetes is diagnosed.
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How Diabetes Can Impact The Eyes
Diabetic retinopathy describes retinal disorders that are caused by diabetes, including proliferative retinopathy and macular edema.
Proliferative retinopathy refers to a condition where blood vessels leak into the corner of the eye. Macular edema happens when leaking fluid causes the macula to swell.
Glaucoma can also cause blurry vision, and diabetes increases the risk for it. Pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve. In the earliest phases, there often are not any noticeable symptoms, which are why regular screening examinations are so important. Here are a few symptoms to watch for between screening examinations:
- Halos around lights
- Feelings of nausea or even vomiting
Diabetes also increased the risk for cataracts, and blurry vision is also one of the first symptoms.
As described, there are multiple ways that diabetes can cause blurry vision, but not all blurry vision is the result of diabetes. Other causes include:
- Low blood pressure
- Digital eye strain from too much time at a computer
- Immune system diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus
If you have an unexplained blurry vision, contact your eye doctor.
This also happens to be just one of many reasons why annual eye examinations are so crucial for many patients. Be sure to follow the recommended frequency of examinations for your age group or according to your doctor or optometrists recommendations.
Prevent Or Delay Eye Diseases
You can protect your vision and lower your chance for vision loss with these steps:
- Get a dilated eye exam at least once a year so your eye doctor can spot any problems early when theyre most treatable.
- Keep your blood sugar levels in your target range as much as possible. Over time, high blood sugar not only damages blood vessels in your eyes, it can also affect the shape of your lenses and make your vision blurry.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your target range to lower your risk for eye diseases and vision loss. Also good for your health in general!
- Quit smoking. Quitting lowers your risk for diabetes-related eye diseases and improves your health in many other ways too.
- Get active. Physical activity protects your eyes and helps you manage diabetes.
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S For Diabetic Eye Care
In general, keeping near-normal blood glucose and eating right seem crucial to eye care. Writing in Diabetes Self-Management, Linnea Hagberg, RD, suggestsconsuming leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli.
Hagberg also recommends corn, kiwifruit, red grapes, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, orange peppers, orange juice, egg yolks, and Vitamin E as being good prevention for AMD and cataracts. For general diabetes eye health, she says:
Wear sunglasses that protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays.
Keep blood glucose under control.
Stop smoking or cut back as much as possible.
Choose brightly and deeply colored fruits and vegetables as often as possible. Include leafy green vegetables in your meals several times a week.
Include plenty of vitamin C in your diet by choosing several daily servings of foods such as cantaloupe, strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwifruit, mango, papaya, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
Eat fatty fish two or three times a week. Limit total fat and commercially processed baked goods and snack foods.
Have an annual eye exam that includes dilating the pupils.
Have you experienced visual changes at different glucose levels? Id be interested in hearing about it.
Want to learn more about keeping your eyes healthy with diabetes? Read Eating for Better Vision and Healthy Eyes and Keeping Your Eyes Healthy and Protect Your Eyes From Diabetes and watch Diabetes and Your Eyes.
How Diabetes Affects The Eyes
Having too much sugar in your blood can damage the blood vessels in the part of the eye called the retina. The retina is the tissue lining the back of the eye.
High sugar levels cause the blood vessels to swell and leak into the retina and cause blurred vision or blind spots. If left untreated, new blood vessels may grow and cause further damage to your vision.
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Diabetes And Blurred Vision
High levels of blood sugar resulting from diabetes can affect your ability to see by causing the lens inside the eye to swell, which can result in temporary blurring of eyesight.
Blurring of vision may also occur as a result of very low blood sugar levels If this is the case, your vision should return once your blood glucose levels have returned to the normal range.
If your blood sugar levels are fluctuating over time, you may notice that your vision improves and worsens for periods of time.
The Connection Between Diabetes And Blurry Vision
Most likely, you have heard of diabetes. It is a metabolic disease when the human body cant produce any or enough insulin or isnt able to use insulin efficiently enough.
Your body needs insulin to break down the glucose that your cells use as fuel. If you have enough insulin, then a person can develop hyperglycemia, which is when sugar builds up in the blood since the insulin isnt breaking it down.
Hyperglycemia is potentially damaging to all the cells in the body, including those in the eyes. People are often surprised to learn that blurry vision is often one of the earliest noticeable signs of diabetes.
The blurriness is caused by fluids leaking into the eye and causing it to change shape, which makes it harder to focus. Some people who are diagnosed with diabetes also experience this when adapting to a new insulin medication dose.
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Treatment Options For Diabetic Eye Disease
Your provider will work with you to develop an optimal treatment plan. Two of the most common strategies to manage diabetic eye disease include controlling your diabetes and medical management.
Control your diabetes
We typically recommend three key steps to control your diabetes:
During regular office visits, your ophthalmologist can administer medications directly into the eye. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy is a commonly used medication treatment to reduce retinal swelling and inhibit blood vessel growth in the retina.
Another option is corticosteroid medication, which can reduce inflammation caused by diabetic retinopathy.
To find out whether you or a loved one might benefit from a check-up with an ophthalmologist, call or request an appointment online.
Slurred Speech And Clumsiness
Your sugar-starved brain may change the way you sound. Slurred speech is a common symptom associated with blood sugar levels that drop below 40 mg/dL, according to University of Michigan Health Systems. Combined with clumsiness another sign of low blood sugar you may seem as though youve had a few too many cocktails, even if you havent touched a drop, according to the National Health Service.
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What To Do To Reduce The Impact Of High Blood Pressure On Your Eyes
If you have high blood pressure, your GP might recommend that you take antihypertensive medications to bring your blood pressure numbers down. There are also a number of lifestyle changes you can try that can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of health problems, including heart disease and eye complications. These may help you avoid, delay, or reduce the need for antihypertensive therapy:13
Maintain a healthy BMI
Get regular exercise, at least 30 minutes most days of the week
Eat a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy
Reduce salt intake
Limit alcohol consumption to moderate amounts
Cut back on caffeine
Reduce mental stress
It can also be useful to monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor periodically for health checks. Ultimately, a proactive approach to blood pressure management can help prevent many of the eye complications of hypertension, such as glaucoma. If you think your blood pressure may be high, its important to seek advice from your GP.
If youve been having any problems with your eyesight, book an appointment at your local Specsavers.
For more information on glaucoma causes, you can find it in our dedicated glaucoma causes resource.
Andy BrittonBSc MCOptom Prof Cert Glauc Dip TP
Andy graduated from Aston University in 1996 and has practiced in all areas, including university and hospital clinics. He has a strong Read more
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Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels that fluctuate throughout the day or from time to time, can cause occasional blurry vision.
It is highly recommended to speak with your doctor about ways to regulate your blood sugar levels, as a constant fluctuation can cause many uncomfortable symptoms and can be harmful to your body.
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The Keto Diet And Blurry Vision
A popular eating plan for weight loss, this extremely low-carb, high-fat diet plan alters the balance of macronutrients to force the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, in which it uses fat for fuel, Palinski-Wade says.
Dialing back on carbohydrates can have a major impact on the amount of sugar in your blood. “A keto diet provides very few carbohydrates, the macronutrient easiest to convert into glucose in the body,” Palinski-Wade notes. “When you eat few carbs, your blood sugar can lower as well.”
Still, Palinski-Wade says blurry vision on the keto diet is unlikely for most people. However, you’ll need to be more careful if you have diabetes. Research published in May 2018 in the journal âDiabetic Medicineâ showed that although the keto diet often improves blood sugar control in people with type 1 diabetes, it can result in a high number of hypoglycemic episodes.
According to Mayo Clinic, blurred vision can be a sign of worsening hypoglycemia, which is a fasting blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter or below.