Why Diabetics Should Get Their Eyes Checked
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Learn why you need to take care of your eyes if you have diabetes.
Annual eye exams are an important part of staying healthy, especially if you have diabetes. Even if you can see clearly, dilated eye exams help detect conditions that may not cause symptoms but can result in serious damage to your vision if they go undetected.
Why do diabetics need annual eye exams? Find out the answer to that and more at www.Guthrie.org
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can affect people with diabetes:
Over time these conditions can cause poor vision or blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It is a leading cause of blindness in adults.
Diabetic retinopathy may have no symptoms in its early stages. In later stages, you may see dark spots or streaks caused by blood that has leaked into the gel in your eye.
Preventing and Treating Diabetic Eye Disease
Managing your diabetes is the best way to lower your risk of diabetic eye disease. Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol also help.
If you have diabetes, you should have an eye exam every year. Diabetic eye disease does not always cause symptoms at first; an eye exam can catch it early, when it is easiest to treat.
In the early stages of diabetic eye disease, your doctor may simply monitor your eyes. In later stages, treatments can include injections, laser treatment and surgery. Learn more here.
Make an appointment today by calling 800-4-SIGHT-2 (800-474-4482).
Treatment of Retinal Conditions
Guthrie’s retina specialists diagnose and treat diseases such as uveitis, retinal tears and retinal detachments, and macular conditions.
Treating Retinal Tears and Detachments
Guthrie’s retina specialist offers a variety of surgical treatments for retinal tears and detachment:
- Cryoptherapy can be used to treat retinal tears and detachment. “Cryo” means freeze, and cryotherapy involves placing a very cold metal piece against the wall of the eye to freeze the retina. This creates a scar that seals the retina against the wall of the eye.
- Laser surgery (photocoagulation) treats retinal tears and detachment with heat. The laser burns around the tear, creating a scar that seals the retina against the wall of the eye.
- Pneumatic retinopexy involves inserting gas into the eye gel to gently push the retina against the back of the eye. Cryotherapy or photocoagulation can then be performed to seal a retinal tear.
Treatment for uveitis can be medical or surgical:
- Eye drops
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Surgery to replace the gel in the eye or implant a device to release steroids
Treating Macular Conditions
Guthrie Specialty Eye Care treats conditions that affect the macula, including degeneration and holes. Treatment options include:
- Intravitreal injections place medication directly into the vitreous cavity, the space in the back of the eye filled with gel.
- Photodynamic therapy is a laser therapy. A drug injected in your arm travels to the blood vessels in your eye. When the laser is pointed at the blood vessels, the drug closes the vessels and stops leaks.
- Vitrectomy is a treatment for macular holes. The eye’s gel is removed, then a mixture of air and gas is inserted to put pressure on the edges of the macular hole and allow it to heal. The air gradually goes away, and natural eye fluid replaces it over time.
- Membranectomy treats epiretinal membrane, also known as macular pucker or cellophane retinopathy, a transparent layer that forms on the inner surface of the retina and can interfere with vision. The membrane is removed after a vitrectomy.