Often, we have the tendency to schedule medical care when we think something may be wrong. We have largely gotten out of the habit of seeing our doctor every year for a good old-fashioned checkup. Likewise, this is how a large majority of people manage eye health. Eye care is something we primarily consider for vision correction. However, there is much more to taking good care of your eyes, especially if you have diabetes.
First, there is an alarming estimate that millions of people in our country have diabetes mellitus or Type 2 diabetes, and they do not know it. This goes back to the value of the general physical on an annual basis. Current diagnoses are upwards of 30 million, with more people diagnosed each year. If diabetes is in your family history, it is a good idea to see your doctor for glucose testing. Doing so protects your general health and can also protect your eyes.
Diabetes is not just Common; it is a Leading Cause of Blindness
There are several eye diseases that are associated with diabetes. The concern with them is that symptoms may not become obvious until irreparable damage has occurred. If you frequently have blurry vision, you may be receiving a warning sign that you have diabetes. The earlier that diabetes management can be implemented, the better you and your ophthalmologist can monitor eye health, watching for clues to:
- Glaucoma, a condition in which pressure builds inside the eye. Increased pressure can damage the optic nerve, sometimes to the extent of vision loss.
- Diabetic retinopathy involves the restriction of the blood vessels that nourish the retina. 12 percent of new cases of blindness each year are attributed to this condition.
- Cataracts can severely impede vision, and people with diabetes have a 60% higher risk for clouded lenses than individuals with healthy blood glucose levels. If vision becomes low, cataracts can be removed and the lens replaced with an appropriate IOL.
Do you need care now?
Diabetic eye care is slightly more involved than the norm and requires patients to know when they need to see their ophthalmologist sooner rather than later, and by that we mean within a day or two. Symptoms that require prompt medical attention include:
- Flashes of light either in your field of vision or when you blink.
- Sudden changes in vision, including blurriness or double-vision.
- Eye pain.
- Black spots in your field of vision.
We care about your eye health. Vitreo Retinal Surgery, PA has offices across Minnesota to serve you. Call (800) VRS-2500.