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Protecting Your Sight: Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Diabetic eye disease is a group of problems relating to the eyes, including cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, which often affect people with diabetes. Studies conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggest that around 29 million people within the United States over the age of 18 suffer from diabetes. However, almost a third of that number aren’t aware that they have the disease, and could be at risk of various health problem. This includes vision loss.

When it comes to diabetes, the early symptoms are often overlooked, which means that you could find that problems with your vision only begin to arise once the disease has become more severe. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should schedule a dilated eye exam immediately with Nevada eye Physicians and make sure to get regular checkups at least once a year.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic eye disease is a group of problems relating to the eyes, including cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, which often affect people with diabetes. The most common is diabetic retinopathy, which impacts approximately 5.3 million Americans. Diabetic retinopathy has the capacity to be a blinding condition, wherein the blood vessels inside of your retina become damaged as a result of high blood sugar levels. The damaged vessels lead to fluids leaking into the retina which obstructs blood flow and can lead to serious loss of vision.

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Diabetes can also affect the vision in a number of other ways, causing glaucoma and cataracts. If you suffer with diabetes, you could acquire cataracts at a much younger age, and your chances of developing glaucoma will also typically increase.

Fortunately, the early diagnosis of diabetes, and the ability to control your blood sugar through exercise, medication and diet, can reduce your risk of developing eye diseases associated with the condition. However, you should make an appointment for a dilated eye exam immediately if you experience blurred vision or other eye-related problems.

What is a Dilated Eye Exam?

When Nevada Eye Physicians dilate a patient’s eye during an exam, it allows them a clearer and more comprehensive view into the retina. This provides them with the insight they need to pinpoint indications of diabetic eye disease, such as swelling, leaking blood vessels, and deposits within the retina. Failing to take part in yearly comprehensive eye exams can mean that conditions such as diabetic retinopathy go unnoticed by many patients until the disease has progressed too far towards blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy has also been medically linked to the increased risk of heart, nerve and kidney disease within an individual, making its detection even more crucial.

Early Detection is Pivotal

Patients with diabetes can help to slow or prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy by carefully sticking to a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and controlling their blood pressure levels. Once the disease has developed, its ability to result in significant vision loss can be reduced by further blood sugar and cholesterol control, as well as a timely referral for laser treatment with Nevada Eye and Ear when appropriate.

The key is finding and managing the problem within the early stages, so that the chances of maintaining better eyesight can be enhanced. If you or a loved one is suffering from vision loss due to diabetes, call us at 702-896-6043 and make an appointment today with one of our physicians at Nevada Eye Physicians.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.