on Friday, November 16, 2012
November is American Diabetes Month. A lot of diabetic eye conditions do not have early warning signs, so it helps to be aware of what can affect a diabetic patient. However, with early detection and treatment with an eye doctor, diabetic eye patients can control diabetic eye disease. But what eye conditions can affect diabetic patients? Here is a helpful list that patients can look over and discuss with their eye doctor:
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some patients with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In others, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Both can lead to vision loss or blindness.
Glaucoma is an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. It is sometimes referred to as the "sneak thief of sight" as there are generally no symptoms or warning signals in the early stages of the disease. Annual eye exams are important for adults as they may help detect diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes in the early stages.
A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. It typically occurs in aging patients, but cataracts can occur in patients after an eye trauma, eye surgery, or even exposure to some types of radiation. One of the major risk factors is diabetes. Diabetic patients should have an eye exam by an eye doctor if they have symptoms like cloudy or blurry vision, colors that look dull, double vision, glare, or poor night vision.