Approximately 30 million Americans have diabetes. This metabolic condition may result in various organ complications, compromising different bodily processes. Your visual capacity, in particular, may also be affected, a problem known as diabetic retinopathy. In celebration of Diabetes Eye Disease Awareness Month this November, let your expert eye doctor from Mission Vision talk about this condition in detail.
How It Develops
Diabetes happens when your body produces insulin at an inadequate rate or develops a resistance to its effects. This may compromise the conversion of glucose into an energy source for your body. Their molecules may then accumulate in your bloodstream, making blood more viscous. This may lead to poor blood circulation, including to your eyes. Your retina and other ocular structures may receive less oxygen and fewer nutrients, resulting in visual changes.
Stages and Their Symptoms
Diabetic eye disease symptoms usually differ, depending on the phase of the disease. The early stage is usually asymptomatic, which is why it is essential to undergo regular eye exams for its prompt detection. During this time, your retinal blood vessels may be getting weaker, making them likely to rupture easily. This may lead to fluid and blood leaks into your retina and macula, resulting in swelling. You may then experience central vision problems, such as blurred vision.
As your eyes continue to get less oxygen and nutrients, they may start to grow new blood vessels to compensate for their needs. These new blood vessels, however, are inherently weak and will soon rupture. This may cause blood clots to build up in your eyes, which you may see as black specks or spots. If left untreated, this condition may eventually lead to irreversible blindness.
Our Suggested Management
Blood sugar control is the priority management to prevent diabetes advancement and its organ complications. Make sure to take your medications on time. It is also essential to follow the recommended diet and lifestyle changes your doctor recommends. We may prescribe wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses for better vision. For advanced cases, we may recommend undergoing surgeries or administering medications, which can help prevent new blood vessels from growing.
For more information about diabetic eye disease, call us at (210) 315-5559 or complete our form. We serve San Antonio and the surrounding TX communities.