You take the time to worry about your heart and your lungs, so why wouldn't you think about your eye health? If you are like most people, it might be because you don't know that much about how to take care of your eyes. Fortunately, I have been working with other people to teach them about eye health for the past twenty years. My father lost his eyesight because of a few bad decisions, and I don't want to see other people go down that path. Read here to learn why you should exercise, eat right, and see your eye doctor regularly.
If you have poorly managed diabetes or long-standing diabetes, then you may be at risk for vision loss. One of the most common ocular effects of persistently high blood sugar levels is diabetic retinopathy. This condition is caused by retinal blood vessel damage, and while early retinopathy may be asymptomatic, advanced retinopathy may lead to complete vision loss. Here are some diabetic eye treatment options your eye doctor may recommend if you have retinopathy.
Manage High Glucose Levels
One of the most important diabetic eye treatment options is maintaining tight control over blood sugar levels. This means taking all of your prescribed medications, including oral anti-glycemic agents, as well as insulin. You will also need to adhere to your diabetic therapeutic diet prescribed by your physician, maintain a healthy weight, refrain from smoking, and get regular exercise.
While managing your diabetes may not reverse the effects of diabetic retinopathy, it may slow its progression and preserve your vision. It is important to note, that even if your blood sugar levels are well controlled, you'll need to see your eye doctor if you experience blurred vision, see light flashes before your eye, or develop black spots in your field of vision. While these symptoms may be related to a migraine, medication side effects, or even the natural aging process, they may be indicative of retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.
In addition to managing your blood sugar levels, your eye doctor may recommend laser treatments. Laser treatments are used to manage weakened blood vessels in the retina that often lead to bleeding inside the eye. Laser therapy can also help slow the progression of retinopathy and slow vision loss.
Laser therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed in an outpatient setting, requiring no hospitalization or general anesthesia. The procedure can take up to an hour, and before the treatment begins, your doctor will anesthetize your eye and instill dilating drops, which opens up the pupils.
Although laser treatments can help slow the progression of diabetic eye disease, it typically does not improve your vision. It is also important to note, that you may require multiple laser sessions to treat your diabetic retinopathy.
If you have diabetes, see both your eye doctor and primary care physician regularly. When you see your practitioners on a regular basis, you may be more likely to stave off diabetes-related vision loss. For more information about diabetic eye treatment, contact a local clinic, like Northwest Ophthalmology.