What Are The Treatments For Diabetic Eye Problems
Treatment for diabetic eye problems depends on the problem and how serious it is. Some of the treatments include:
- Lasers to stop blood vessels from leaking
- Injections in the eye to stop new, leaky blood vessels from growing
- Surgery to remove blood and scar tissue or replace a cloudy lens
- Eye drops to lower fluid pressure in the eye
But these treatments arent cures. Eye problems can come back. Thats why your best defense against serious vision loss is to take control of your diabetes and get regular eye exams. Its also important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in a healthy range.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes Eye Problems
Vision problems related to diabetes usually occur in both eyes at the same time. Here are some of the most common early symptoms:
Presence of floaters
Difficulty seeing at night or in dim lighting
Changing vision quality
If these eye problems are not treated properly, more serious symptoms can happen, including:
Darkened or empty spots in your field of vision
Loss of side or peripheral vision
Partial or total blindness
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.
- Ask your doctor for a referral to diabetes self-management education and support services. People who receive less diabetes education are twice as likely to get diabetic retinopathy as people who receive more education.
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What To Expect After Surgery
Your vision wont improve immediately after surgery. It often takes a few days to notice increased visual clarity. After surgery, youll wear an eyepatch for a few days, and youll receive prescription eyedrops to reduce inflammation and prevent an infection.
Cataract surgery has a high success rate. The removed cataract doesnt grow back, though a new cataract can form. So its important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
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
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Whats The Treatment For Diabetic Retinopathy And Dme
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your eye doctor will probably just keep track of how your eyes are doing. Some people with diabetic retinopathy may need a comprehensive dilated eye exam as often as every 2 to 4 months.
In later stages, its important to start treatment right away especially if you have changes in your vision. While it wont undo any damage to your vision, treatment can stop your vision from getting worse. Its also important to take steps to control your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Injections. Medicines called anti-VEGF drugs can slow down or reverse diabetic retinopathy. Other medicines, called corticosteroids, can also help.
Diabetes Can Cause Cataract
A cataract is a condition where the lens in our eyes gets clouded and our vision gets compromised. The symptoms of cataract can vary from faded colors, blurry or doubled vision, poor visibility at night, etc. Generally, cataract is a disease that people get as they grow old. But people with diabetes are more likely to get cataract faster than others.
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Diabetes And Vision Loss
Get a dilated eye exam at least once a year to protect your eyesight.
Diabetes can damage your eyes over time and cause vision loss, even blindness. The good news is managing your diabetes and getting regular eye exams can help prevent vision problems and stop them from getting worse.
Eye diseases that can affect people with diabetes include diabetic retinopathy, macular edema , cataracts, and glaucoma. All can lead to vision loss, but early diagnosis and treatment can go a long way toward protecting your eyesight.
Is Blurry Vision With Diabetes Temporary
Blurry vision can result from both short-term and long-term complications of diabetes.
Long-term eye problems stem from blood vessel damage in the retina of one or both eyes due to high blood sugar levels over the course of many years. These complications are not temporary, but treatment can slow their progression.
Short-term blurriness, due to high or low blood sugar levels, is temporary and will resolve when blood sugar levels return to normal.
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What To Eat Instead
Theres no need to fight those sugar cravings. They happen and they wont go away until theyre satisfied. But, when they happen, you can make an effort to eat the right sugars. Instead of reaching for a cookie or candy bar the next time the craving strikes, grab a handful of fruit.
But, dont grab just any fruit. Youll want a fruit that ranks low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index was created to rank the foods that cause spikes in blood sugar. The food is typically ranked out of 100, with 100 being the largest blood sugar spike.
Here are some fruits that are low on the glycemic index:
Next time you have a sugar craving, ask yourself if going for the candy is worth risking your eye health.
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Dry Eyes And Screen Use
Dry eyes are a common cause of blurriness. One cause of dry eyes is when blinking is reduced over long periods of looking at a screen. Computer workers may notice blurred vision due to dry eyes.
To prevent dry eyes, try the following:
- changing the lighting
- taking breaks away from the screen
It is important to get an eyesight check from an optometrist, too.
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How Can I Prevent Kidney Disease And Other Problems From Diabetes
Controlling blood sugar is the best way to protect your eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. It lowers your risk for all health problems from diabetes. This is true for all people with diabetes with or without kidney damage. Ask your healthcare provider what you need to do to control your blood sugar.
Diabetes Treatment And Blurriness
For people who take medication to increase insulin in the body, changing the timing of food or a change in activity levels can result in low blood sugar levels.
Blurriness from low blood sugar does not result from changes in the eye. Instead, it is due to the way hypoglycemia affects the brain.
Vision that changes in this way will return to normal after glucose levels return to normal.
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Who Is More Likely To Develop Diabetic Eye Disease
Anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease. Your risk is greater with
- high blood glucose that is not treated
- high blood pressure that is not treated
High blood cholesterol and smoking may also raise your risk for diabetic eye disease.
Some groups are affected more than others. African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics/Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and older adults are at greater risk of losing vision or going blind from diabetes.
If you have diabetes and become pregnant, you can develop eye problems very quickly during your pregnancy. If you already have some diabetic retinopathy, it can get worse during pregnancy. Changes that help your body support a growing baby may put stress on the blood vessels in your eyes. Your health care team will suggest regular eye exams during pregnancy to catch and treat problems early and protect your vision.
Diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, does not usually cause eye problems. Researchers aren’t sure why this is the case.
Your chances of developing diabetic eye disease increase the longer you have diabetes.
Prevention Is The Prescription
Instead of waiting for your eyesight to deteriorate, take charge of your health and begin to eat foods that can prevent these age-related diseases. If you have elevated blood sugars or high blood pressure, begin eating a lower carbohydrate diet that focuses on vegetable carbs instead of processed carbs. Vegetables are naturally high in eye-protecting nutrients, including Vitamins A, C, and E. These important antioxidants can reduce inflammation and help preserve your sight. Instead of a big bowl of cereal for breakfast, try one of my new favorites, a big bowl of leftover stir-fry.
Many of my clients use a variety of supplements to preserve good eyesight. Nutrients that I recommend include alpha lipoic acid, lutein, lycopene and bilberry. All of these are found in the supplement 4Sight by Ortho Molecular. Just two capsules per day provide all of these antioxidants and other nutrients to protect your vision. I also recommend that my clients take Omega 3-DHA. This Omega-3 fatty acid is identical to the fats that are found in your eyes.
Other steps towards better eye health include not smoking, limiting alcohol intake and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.
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Five Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will want to check your eyes at least once a year with a dilated eye exam. Diabetes can affect your vision in the long term and the short term. The sooner you treat an issue, the greater the likelihood of reversing it. Left untreated, however, vision issues caused by diabetes can lead to blindness.
Below are five vision conditions to be aware of if you have diabetes. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your risk factors.
Blurred Vision: High blood sugar levels can lead to a buildup of fluid that moves in and out of the eye, leading to blurriness. Regulating your blood sugar can correct the condition in the short term. However, uncontrolled diabetes can damage small blood vessels, which can permanently damage the retina.
Cataracts: If you have diabetes, you are 60% more likely to develop cataracts, which cause clouding over the eyes lens, blocking your vision. People with diabetes are also at risk of developing cataracts at a younger age. The condition also progresses faster in people with diabetes.
Glaucoma: If you have diabetes, you are at least twice as likely to develop glaucoma, which causes damage to your eyes optic nerve and can lead to permanent vision loss. Often symptoms dont show up until the disease has progressed. People tend to lose vision slowly or see bright halos or colored rings around lights.
How Excessive Sugar Intake Affects Eye Health
Sugar is a pro-inflammatory ingredient that, in some patients, causes high glycemia, or high blood sugar. Inflammation and high blood sugar can affect your entire body, including your eyes. When you have high blood sugar, your eye lenses will swell, which in turn brings about problems such as blurry vision.Studies have proven this effect, and those with chronic high blood sugar problems are more at risk for eye disease.
One of the most common sugar-related diseases is diabetes, in which your body either doesnt create insulin or doesnt produce enough of it for your needs. Insulin is used to remove excess sugar from your blood, so if you dont have enough insulin, youre at risk for high blood sugar and high blood pressure problems. Both of these problems can hurt your eye health and put you at risk for eye disease. For those who have diabetes, poorly managed sugar intake can result in diabetic retinopathy, an eye condition in which the blood vessels in your eyes become damaged , resulting in blurriness, visual impairment and, in extreme cases, blindness.
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Staying Healthy & Monitoring Your Diabetes
If you have diabetes, it is important to properly control your diabetes. Maintain healthy blood glucose levels by taking your insulin as needed. If your levels get too high or too low, negative effects can occur. These results include bleeding or swelling in the retina
If vessels close off, there is a reduction in oxygen supply resulting in poor vision.
Avoid ruptures when new vessels are growing in the optic nerve, retina, or vitreous humor. If there is damage and a rupture, bleeding in the vitreous humor will occur. That can be very dangerous. If the swelling does not go down after a few hours, you will need to see your eye doctor. Diabetic macular edema will need injections for treatment.
Cataracts & Other Solutions To Your Eye Problems
As time passes, diabetics are also at a higher risk of developing cataracts with old age. Cataracts may require removal by your eye doctor if the problem is serious.
Other solutions to eye problems caused by diabetes include laser coagulation or surgery, as well as vitrectomy. Medications recommended by the Mayo Clinic include blood vessel growth inhibitors and steroids.
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How Can I Protect My Vision If I Have Diabetes
Here at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute, we advocate prevention above all else. If you make a point of taking care of your body before vision problems have a change to develop, not only are you increasing the longevity of your sight, youre also reducing your risk of experiencing further complications.
For diabetic patients, we reinforce your primary caregivers recommendations about diet, exercise, and medication. That means cutting back on simple carbs and sugary foods and beverages, eating a diet rich in dark leafy greens, exercising regularly, and being diligent about testing your blood sugar and taking any medication you may have been prescribed to reduce your blood glucose level.
The health of your eyes is only as good as the health of your body as a whole. Make sure youre caring for the complete package!
Disclaimer: This article was for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical care. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute.
How Can Diabetes Affect Your Eyes
Diabetes occurs when your body does not properly process food as energy. When you have diabetes, your body either does not respond to or does not produce insulin, which is a hormone that delivers glucose to the cells in your body. Having too much glucose in the bloodstream, outside the cells where it belongs, can lead to damage of the blood vessels and nerves that run throughout your body, including to the eyes.
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The Link Between Sugar And Your Eye Health
Did you know that your nutrition choices can affect your eye health? This is especially true for sugar intake, a subtle staple of the American diet. At Piedmont Eye Center, we care about your eye health, which means we also care about the foods you eat that can affect it, particularly sugar. So, we have gathered some information for you on how sugar can affect your eye health.
How Does Diabetes Affect Eyes
Q: How does diabetes affect your eyes? L.L., Connecticut
A: Diabetes causes problems in the retina with what are collectively called microvascular abnormalities. The small blood vessels develop microaneurysms and leak blood. New blood vessel growth occurs. Unfortunately, these blood vessels are weak and also leak. These leaks can cause irreversible damage to the retina and permanent vision loss.
Patients with controlled diabetes do better than those with uncontrolled diabetes. However, even a person whose diabetes is under perfect control can still develop diabetic retinopathy hence, the need for yearly retinal exams. Dr. Slonim
Q: Does diabetic retinopathy get progressively worse? F.R.
A: Yes. When left unrecognized and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can even get worse despite use of the best treatments that currently exist for it. Dr. Slonim
Q: My father has type 2 diabetes and he is seeing double. We went to the hospital about a week ago and they said the diabetes had affected a nerve to his right eye. Can medicine get his sight back to normal? W.C.
Q: Can diabetes cause you to have eye infections such as pink eye and frequent styes? K.M.
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