If you have diabetes, you should have a dilated eye exam at least once a year.
In diabetes, the body has trouble keeping blood glucose (sugar) levels from getting too high. Over time, high blood glucose can cause damage to the blood vessels, nerves, and organs in the body.
Diabetes can affect the eyes, causing blurry vision, loss of vision, or total blindness.
The higher your blood glucose is over time, the greater the chance of vision loss due to diabetes. Once vision has been lost, there is a chance it may never be recovered.
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina, the ‘movie screen’ in the back of the eye. The damage causes bleeding inside the eye. Sometimes, the bleeding can be so bad that it causes the vision to become hazy or dark. If diabetic retinopathy is not treated, it can result in a retinal detachment, where the retinal layers fall off the back of the eye.
Mild or moderate diabetic retinopathy is treated by lowering blood glucose and controlling blood pressure.
Severe diabetic retinopathy may require retina laser surgery and/or injection of medicine into the eye. Both of these procedures are performed in the office by a retina specialist.
Diabetic macular edema is a particular type of retina problem where the eye develops fluid pockets or swelling between the retinal layers. This can result in blurry vision. It is treated by lowering the blood glucose and by injection of medicine into the eye.
Dr. Lynch is a retina specialist with expertise in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema.