Diabetes is a disease that interferes with the body’s ability to use and store sugar, which causes many health disorders including vision problems. People with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which can weaken and cause changes in the small blood vessels that nourish the retina.
Cause: Diabetes, often undetected until vision problems occur.
Symptoms: Early stages of diabetic retinopathy may cause blurred vision or may produce no visual symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, you may experience a cloudiness of vision, blind spots, or floaters.
What you can do: Monitor your disease through diet and exercise under a doctor's supervision. Inform your optometrist that you are diabetic and schedule a dilated eye examination at appropriate intervals to detect changes in the retina or optic nerve.
Good News: Early diagnosis and timely treatment have been proven to prevent vision loss in more than 90 percent of patients. However, an estimated 50 percent of patients are diagnosed too late for effective treatment.
At high-risk: African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than Caucasians, according to the American Diabetes Association.
With life expectancy figures continuing to climb, managing Diabetic Retinopathy successfully can be essential for people to live healthy, happy, and productive lives. By performing a regular, comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can successfully detect Diabetic Retinopathy. Then, your optometrist can treat Diabetic Retinopathy in conjunction with your other health care providers.