The most common diabetic eye disease is Diabetic Retinopathy, and it is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetes can cause blood vessels in your eye to swell and leak fluid, or abnormal new blood vessels to grow on the surface of the retina. This damage to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye, can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Diabetes also increases an individual’s risk of developing other eye diseases. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes are 40 times more likely to suffer from glaucoma.
Diabetic Retinopathy and many other diabetes-related eye diseases can progress significantly without noticeable symptoms. By the time an individual starts experiencing vision problem, these diseases have often already caused irreversible damage. That is why it is so important for individuals with diabetes to have annual diabetic eye exams. By dilating a patient’s eyes, an eye doctor can use various tools to look inside the eye and check for signs of eye disease. With early diagnosis, many eye diseases can be successfully treated and roughly 90% of diabetes-related blindness can be avoided.
If you suffer from diabetes and you haven’t had a diabetic eye exam in over a year, please contact the ACE to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.