What is diabetes? It’s a disease resulting in elevated blood sugar concentrations because it inhibits your body’s natural insulin production. The disease impacts the optical system as it disrupts blood flow to the eyes and degrades important blood vessels. Though diabetics should be aware of the full gambit of eye diseases, the three major eye conditions related to diabetes are cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Cataracts involve your eye’s lens becoming cloudy and/or having an opaque texture. Without regular eye exams, seniors and diabetics are very susceptible to this eye disease. Cataracts can be treated with a simple and effective surgery, but diabetics should be proactive with their eye care and utilize period eye exams.
While medical professionals are still researching and learning about the intricate causes of glaucoma, there is a strong correlation between living with diabetes and developing glaucoma. The disease is the result of a damaged optic nerve, a critical eye component highly sensitive to the pressure of swelling and increased blood vessels diabetes causes. Treatments like medicated eye drops and laser surgery aim to relieve this pressure. Afterwards, doctors will monitor the optic nerve’s progress with regular eye exams.
Diabetes can directly affect your eyes’ blood vessels with inflammation or structural weakening due to inconsistent blood pressure. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. The disease can cause leaky blood vessels, the creation of new vessels and similar side effects. Ultimately, the condition continues to negatively impact eye health without treatment from an eye care professional. Unchecked, the disease can lead to blurred vision and/or blindness.
At Red Deer Eye Care Centre, we have the experience and resources to treat diabetic retinopathy with multiple effective solutions. Moreover, we strongly recommend scheduling periodic eye examinations to help prevent the onset of this disease. Retinopathy can be treated with:
If you don’t have diabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing the disease with simple lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, scheduling periodic medical checkups and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. To help prevent eye disease and catch potential issues early, schedule regular eye examinations and talk with your Optometrist about prevention techniques.
Dr. Lampard graduated from optometry at Pacific University in Oregon in 1981. He and his wife Lorraine have three grown children, all born and raised in Red Deer. Tom enjoys cycling, curling, cross country and downhill skiing, and golfing. He also keeps busy volunteering for the United Way, has been a chairman of the Alberta College of Optometrists, and director of the Alberta Association of Optometrists.More Articles by Tom Lampard