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Diabetic Eye Care In

Diabetes patients need adequate diabetic vision care to prevent severe eye damage and vision loss. At Buena Vista Optometry, we are your diabetes vision care experts. Over the years, we have been recognized to provide excellent, compassionate diabetic eye care to patients of all ages.

“We work with a team of experienced, competent, qualified optometrists who are dedicated to offering quality eye care services which will help improve or maintain your vision. No matter the severity of your diabetic eye condition, we can help manage it. No wonder we are the preferred option for patients all over that require precise vision care for diabetes.”

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes And Vision?

Diabetes often occurs due to high blood sugar in the body. High blood sugar can lead to various eye and vision problems including blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. The majority of these conditions are caused when the blood vessels and nerves in the eye become damaged due to high sugar levels.

If you are a diabetic patient, it is essential that you visit an eye doctor regularly. When you come to our diabetes vision care center in , our experienced optometrist, Dr. Ranjeet Bajwa and Dr. Steve Langsford will be available to attend to you promptly. We offer excellent diabetic eye care services that are second to none.

Risk Of Disease

Unfortunately, patients with diabetes have a higher risk of going blind compared to individuals without the disease. High blood sugar often increases your risk of blurred vision and diseases like Diabetic Retinopathy. To prevent vision loss, optometrists and eye doctors often recommend routine eye care and eye exams for diabetes.

Blurry Vision: High blood sugar is known to cause blurry vision. Excess blood sugar can make the lens of your eyes swell. This changes your ability to see, thus, causing blurry vision. Buying new eyeglasses or using contacts cannot improve your condition. The best way to correct it is by getting your blood sugar level back to the target range (70 – 130 mg/dL).

Diabetic Retinopathy: High blood sugar is also known to cause Diabetic Retinopathy. Here, the small blood vessels in the retina become damaged due to the high levels of sugar in the blood. If not treated early, it can lead to blindness. However, if you can control your blood sugar, you can reduce your chances of having Diabetic Retinopathy.

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Our eyes are one of our most valued senses. Any issue with the eye can make life uncomfortable and unbearable. One of the major eye diseases that affect diabetic patients is Diabetic Retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease which affects the retina of the eye. It is caused when high blood sugar damages the small blood vessels and nerves in the eye. Once the blood vessels are damaged, blood begins to leak, thicken, and clot.

Eventually, the retina will be affected, thus, causing macular edema. Over time, the retina will lose its blood supply. New, deformed blood vessels will be created. The new blood vessels will bleed, thus, causing impaired vision, retinal detachment, and hemorrhages. Also, the vessels will prevent fluid from flowing through the eye.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of the eye disease are not noticeable until they become complicated and cause serious eye damage. Therefore, a routine eye exam for diabetes is important to be able to diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy at its early stages. Some symptoms include:

  • Distorted or blurred vision
  • Reading difficulties
  • Light flashes in your field of vision
  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Pain and discomfort in the eye

If you notice any of these symptoms, speak to your eye doctor immediately. You need adequate vision care for diabetes to improve your vision and prevent eye damage.

Surgical Treatment:

The surgical procedure is referred to as vitrectomy. The eye doctor will recommend this procedure if the patient has retinal detachment or hemorrhage. A surgical treatment procedure may also be the alternative if laser treatment does not work.

During the surgical procedure, the gel-like substance in the eye will be drained out. Thus, any leftover blood or scar tissue can be easily cleaned. Next, the vitreous fluid will be replaced with a substitute fluid.

Laser Treatment:

Laser treatment is referred to as laser photocoagulation. In the laser treatment procedure, the laser will be applied to seal the leaking vessels. By doing this, the swelling in the retina will be reduced. The amount of treatment required for the patient will depend on the type and severity of your Diabetic Retinopathy. However, if you respond to treatment fast, you may not require many sessions.

Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Ranjeet Bajwa from Buena Vista Optometry in Ventura, California and I wanted to talk to you today briefly about diabetes.  Approximately 30 million Americans or about 11 percent of the population unfortunately between the ages of 20 - 79 suffer from diabetes.  90 percent of those individuals have type 2 diabetes which is a disease where the pancreas either is not responding enough by producing enough insulin or the body's become resistant to insulin.  Both can unfortunately do complications, not only overall in the body but particularly for your eyes.  The people that we talk about who are at highest risk for having this are people that have had the disease for a longer period of time.  Unfortunately for our Hispanic population if you've had the disease type 1 or type 2 for 15 years or more you're at about a three times higher risk for a diabetic retinopathy or complications in the back of your eye.  Unfortunately we also know that our Pacific Islanders Native Americans is an African-American population is also at a higher risk for developing diabetes. 

Now when we talk about diabetes it can actually lead to about anywhere between 12 and 24,000 cases of blindness per year due to complications of the eye related to diabetes.  Among some of the symptoms you may experience if you're suffering from diabetes include a variety of things but primarily floaters in your vision, spots that you may see.  You can also have fluctuations in your vision where things are clear and then blurry over the course of the day or the week.  Some patients report shadows in their vision blurred or distorted vision, sometimes double vision or eye pain and of course glare caused by cataracts related to diabetes. 

When we talk about the complications that we see when you come in for your annual comprehensive eye exam for a diabetic patient and the blood sugar changes we can start to see leakage of blood into the back of the eye.  We see deposits of blood and blood protein and you can also see swollen areas of the retina and correlate with a lack of oxygen coming to those tissues.  If this is happening and that's happening on a chronic basis there will be structural changes to the eye.  Of the most serious form we talked about diabetic macular edema and this is when the very central portion of your retina, the area called the macula you think of it like your bull's eye.  That area can start to swell due to some of the ch anges due to diabetes.  The tricky thing about this is from a patient's perspective you may not really notice very much of a change in your vision when you come in and you see your optometrist for a dilated diabetic eye exam we can see changes that might indicate that there is potentially a threat to your vision that may lead to blindness. 

Beyond that we talk about extensive amounts of bleeding that occur in the back your eye it can put you at risk for developing new blood vessels which is what we call proliferative diabetic retinopathy.  These new blood vessels unfortunately tend to leak even more they can leak into the vitreous jelly part of your eye leading to a hemorrhage that can really affect your vision it can also lead to a retinal detachment by pulling the retina off the back of the eye, also leading to permanent blindness.  As this continues to occur we can get more of those new blood vessels starting to form in the front portion of your eye.  When they start to form towards the front of your eye near your iris we can see that there's a higher risk for developing neovascular glaucoma or a type of glaucoma related to diabetes. 

All these things can potentially be prevented or at least minimized and when you come in for your annual comprehensive eye exam it's one of the things that we really stress for all of our patients even well-controlled type 1 or type 2 diabetics.  They should come in on a yearly basis to see their eye care specialists like an optometrist to have a comprehensive eye exam to make sure any of these complications, if found can be relayed to your doctor and tighter blood sugar control can possibly be achieved.  When your body gets a little bit better control of its blood sugar all of those changes that we talked about if caught early on can regress and go away and keep you with good functional vision.  Again this is Dr. Bajwa from Buena Vista Optometry in Ventura, California.  If you have any questions that you would like answered please feel free to reach out on our web site or on Twitter at @DrRajBaj with the hashtag #askaneyedoctor before just talking to you again soon.  Bye bye.

How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy are require treatment from both a family doctor and an optometrist. The family doctor will help control the level of your blood sugar. The doctor will also help in treating other diseases which may not be related to the patient’s vision. This can include heart or kidney functioning.

At the same time, the optometrist will help treat the Diabetic Retinopathy using surgical or laser procedures. These treatment procedures will help manage your vision while preventing further complications or vascular changes.

How Do I Know If I Have Diabetic Retinopathy?

If you have diabetic retinopathy, you will experience various issues such as eye pain, discomfort, blurry vision, reading difficulties, light flashes, partial or complete loss of vision. Once you notice any of these, visit our diabetic vision care center in . Dr. Ranjeet Bajwa and Dr. Steve Langsford will carry out comprehensive eye exams for diabetes to detect the severity of your issue. In addition, he will recommend suitable treatment options.

How Can I Tell If Diabetes Is Affecting My Eyes?

As diabetes begins to affect your eyes, you will notice swelling, watery eyes, and blurry vision. Once you observe any of these, see your eye doctor immediately.

What Is The First Sign Of Diabetic Retinopathy?

During the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy, patients are generally asymptomatic. That is, no signs will be noticed. However, during the later stages of the disease, the patients may begin to experience the following symptoms:

  • Floaters: Spots or dark strings floating
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark spots in your vision
  • Vision loss.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyesight?

Diabetes or high blood sugar damages the small blood vessels and nerves in the eye. When this occurs, blood vessels leak into the center of your eye, thicken, and clot. This will cause blurred or impaired vision, retinal detachment, and hemorrhages.

Is Diabetic Retinopathy Curable?

Diabetic retinopathy cannot be cured. However, the eye condition can be managed through effective treatment procedures. These treatments include surgery (vitrectomy) and laser treatments. With this, you can preserve your vision and reduce the possibilities of vision loss.

Can High Blood Sugar Cause Blurred Vision?

High blood sugar usually causes the lens of the eye to swell, thus, affecting your vision. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of other serious eye issues.

Does Blurry Vsion From Diabetes Go Away?

Having blurred vision as a diabetic patient shows that your diabetes is not under control. When the level of sugar in your blood remains high for a long period, bodily water accumulates in the lens. Hence, the lens will start swelling. However, if you can get your blood sugar level back to normal, the swelling will go away totally about six weeks later.

The Other Diseases

Apart from Diabetic Retinopathy, there are other eye diseases that patients with diabetes can encounter. They include:

Cataracts: Just like a camera, the lens of the eye helps us to see and focus on objects. Cataracts can cloud the lens with debris and affect vision. Diabetes patients are prone to cataracts compared to others. When the lens becomes cloudy, you may be unable to focus on images. Eye surgery will be required to remove the cataract. During the surgery, the eye surgeon will replace your lens with an artificial one.

Glaucoma

The inability of fluid to drain properly can cause pressure to build up inside the eye. As a result, the blood vessels and nerves become damaged, thus, affecting the patient’s vision. Some symptoms of glaucoma include headaches, eye aches, pain, blurred vision, watery eyes, and vision loss. If you experience any of these, do not hesitate to visit our optometrists at Buena Vista Optometry. The patient may need a surgical procedure to prevent or slow down the progression of glaucoma.

Cornea Alterations

Also, diabetes can bring about a decrease in the sensitivity of the cornea. Here, the lens becomes easily irritated and will be more prone to infections. If you use contacts, you need to be very cautious. Laser treatment procedures are often used to correct the altered cornea and increase sensitivity.

Eye Muscle Disturbance

 During the advanced stages of diabetes, patients can experience restriction in the eye muscle movement. This is caused by nerve palsy as the nerves become weak. Patients may require surgery or Botox injections to strengthen the eye muscles

Changes To Vision

Diabetes and high blood sugar affect a patient’s entire body system including the eyes. If the blood sugar level is not controlled, the patient’s vision will be significantly affected. The blood vessels that close the retina will begin to swell and leak.

Furthermore, the blood vessels and nerves close to the retina will experience abnormal growth. This causes blurring, black spots, and floaters. Bleeding can also cause severe vision loss. Today, Diabetic Retinopathy remains among the leading causes of blindness.

What’s more, diabetic retinopathy also raises your risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts. Hence, it is vital that you seek an optometrist frequently if you have diabetes. At our diabetes eye center, our optometrists have extensive experience and knowledge in working with diabetic patients. Dr. Ranjeet Bajwa and Dr. Steve Langsford will closely monitor your eye conditions and provide adequate treatment.

Diabetic Eye Exams

Diabetic eye exams are essential for patients with diabetes. It can help detect early enough if the disease has started affecting your eyes and vision. The early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy may not cause noticeable changes in vision.

However, with comprehensive eye exams for diabetes, the optometrist will be able to detect the problem on time. Specialized lenses and lights will be used to examine the front of your eyes. Hence, adequate treatment will be provided to prevent the eye condition from worsening.

Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam is used to diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy. During the test, the eye doctor will apply drops in your eyes. The drops will dilate or widen your pupils. By dilating your pupils, the optometrist will be able to see the inside of your eyes more easily and clearly. The doctor will check if the retinopathy has caused any damage to your blood vessels and nerves. After dilating your eyes, the optometrist will carry out any of the following diagnostic tests:

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

OCT provides pictures of the eyes. A cross-section of your eyes will be taken. The eye doctor will be able to see clear and comprehensive details of your eyes. The image will also reveal the thickness of your retina and where fluids may leak from damaged nerves and blood vessels.

Fluorescein Angiography

While your eyes remain dilated, the eye doctor will take the images of the inside of your eyes. After that, the doctor will inject your arm with a special dye. With the help of the dye, the doctor will be able to identify the blood vessels that are blocked or leaking.

Get A Diabetic Eye Exam Today!

Do you have diabetes? Don’t wait until you’re beginning to experience blurred vision or black spots before you see your eye doctor. Visit our diabetic vision care center in today. The optometrists at Buena Vista Optometry are competent with eye exams for diabetes. By making use of our state-of-the-art eye equipment, they can recognize your diabetic eye disease.

Schedule an appointment with us today. Our experienced eye doctor, Dr. Ranjeet Bajwa and Dr. Steve Langsford, will be available to speak with you and discuss your treatment options. An amazing experience awaits you.

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