Here's How Diabetes Affects Your Vision

Diabetes affects about 30 million adults in the United States, and this number is expected to rise, given that there are 84 million people who are considered prediabetic. Of the many health complications that can arise from this systemic and chronic disease are problems that affect your vision. From glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy, people living with diabetes need to pay close attention to this area of their health in order to prevent permanent vision loss.

At Bellmawr Eye Care, Dr. Ada Noh and Dr. Bill Ceraso offer comprehensive diabetic eye care to our patients in and around Bellmawr, New Jersey. We are proud to offer technology which allows the team to diagnose and treat diabetes-related eye issues. Through expert oversight and early action, our goal is to help you see well into the future, especially in the face of a diabetes diagnosis.

To give you an idea of the effect that diabetes can have on your vision, here’s a quick look at the problems that can develop as a result of this disease.

Diabetic retinopathy

One of the primary concerns when it comes to diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of vision loss among diabetics. With retinopathy, the blood vessels in your retina are damaged because of your diabetes, and they can begin to leak, distorting your vision. In advanced cases, abnormal blood vessels form, which can seriously hamper your vision, even leading to complete vision loss.

Unfortunately, this development often doesn’t present itself with any noticeable symptoms until well after the damage is done. This is where we come in. Through testing, including visual acuity testing, tonometry, and pupil dilation, our team can spot the early signs of retinopathy and take steps to prevent it from advancing.

Glaucoma

If you have diabetes, your chances of developing glaucoma are 60% higher than those without diabetes. Glaucoma is a condition in which the intraocular pressure in your eyes builds up, damaging the blood vessels in your retina, as well as your optic nerve.

Here again, glaucoma (the open-angle version) can be a tricky condition to spot because of its lack of symptoms. The pressure can build slowly and cause irreparable damage to your retina and optic nerve before you’re even aware you have the condition.

Thankfully, we can easily test your intraocular pressure to spot signs of developing glaucoma. If we detect abnormal pressure, we take the necessary steps to relieve it, preserving your vision. 

Cataracts

The news doesn’t get much better when it comes to diabetes and cataracts — diabetics are at a 60% higher risk of developing cataracts. And people with diabetes tend to develop cataracts at a younger age, and the disease progresses more quickly in diabetics.

Here again, through vigilant monitoring of your eye health, our team can easily spot the first signs of cataracts, which are clumps of tissue that cloud your lenses. We do this by putting drops into your eye to dilate your pupil, and then we take a closer look at your retina. We also use an ophthalmoscope to check your lenses.

If we find evidence of cataracts, we can take the appropriate steps to halt their progression. If they’re advanced, we may recommend surgery to remove them.

The bottom line is that people living with diabetes need to be especially mindful of their eye health, and we are here to help. The earlier we can intervene, the better your outcome, so we urge you to be diligent about your regular diabetic eye exams here with us. Together, we can protect your vision far into the future.

To get started, give us a call at 856-931-7609 or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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