November is the designated month for Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness. This month helps remind and motivate those living with diabetes to make sure to take the proactive steps, to monitor their eye health and protect their vision.
Diabetes inhibits the body from using or storing sugar properly, damaging the retinal blood vessels in the eye, causing them to bleed and swell, ultimately distorting vision. These damaged blood vessels can cause diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy, becoming the one of the leading causes of blindness in diabetic adults. Populations including African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics are at a greater risk than others for developing diabetic eye disease. There are little to no symptoms when diabetic retinopathy is in its early stages, however with a comprehensive dilated eye exam, these problems can be easily detected and treated. Because diabetics have 25 times the usual risk for blindness, studies have shown that diabetics are more likely to keep their vision if treatment is started before vision loss has actually occurred. The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is to keep your diabetes and blood pressure under control. You should have your eyes examined every year, even if you are seeing well, to screen for any retinal changes. The goal of diabetic eye care is to PREVENT vision loss before it occurs. Although you might be seeing well, it is not uncommon to have a vision-threatening problem with your retina. If it is determined that treatment is necessary, the doctors at Sweeney Eye can perform a number of state-of-the-art therapies designed to prevent vision loss. You will know more about your diabetic retinopathy treatment options during your initial consultation with us.