Diabetic Disease Awareness Month
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, which means it’s time to learn all about how diabetes can affect your eyesight. If you or someone you know is suffering from diabetes, the risk of developing blinding eye diseases is greatly increased. Recent studies have shown that low awareness means a higher risk of diabetes-related issues altogether. We hope to educate the community and help cut down on diabetes-related vision loss. The American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages anyone with diabetes to take steps to protect their vision, and we most certainly agree!What is
Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease can be broken down into two specific types of diseases, including:
- Diabetic Retinopathy – This eye disease affects the blood vessels within the light-sensitive tissue known as the retina, which lines the back of the eye. It is one of the most common forms of vision loss amongst individuals with diabetes, and the leading cause of blindness among adults.
- Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) – An unfortunate consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME is a significant swelling in the portion of the retina known as the macula.
Further, diabetic eye disease may also increase the risk of cataracts and glaucoma.
Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease
During the earliest stages of diabetic eye disease, you may not notice any symptoms whatsoever. Then, over time, eye disease progresses until it begins to affect the vision. You may notice bleeding from the retinal blood vessels, which is a common cause of the “floating” spots in your eye. Often, these spots are clear. Other times, they are more pronounced. Either way, the distraction and blurred vision can be troubling indications of something worse going on behind the scenes.
Ways in Which Diabetic Eye Disease Affects You
No one is immune to eye disease. Whether you’re young or old, the right circumstances can lead to vision loss. You can take active steps to reduce such risks, though. With diabetes, and diabetic eye disease, you may experience:
- Blurry Vision – Diabetes can lead to blurry vision caused by high blood sugar. It can take up to 3 months for your vision to fully return to normal.
- Cataracts – Cataracts are a common occurrence amongst diabetes patients. Unfortunately, diabetes increases the rate at which cataracts grow, and how severe they appear.
- Glaucoma – When pressure builds up inside the eye, the nerves may be damaged, causing changes to your vision. You may not even notice any symptoms for the time being.
While many forms of diabetic eye disease do not present noticeable symptoms, it is critical to undergo regular eye exams. If you are suffering from diabetes, then perhaps consider scheduling eye exams more often than the norm. For instance, instead of once every two years, consider once per year. Your insurance may also allow for a maintenance appointment.
This November, Eye Care of Delaware is here for eye appointments and vision-related issues commonly associated with diabetes. Give us a call today at 302-454-8800. We’ll schedule a prompt appointment to examine and assess your eye health.