Diabetic Eye Care
Ophthalmologists play a particularly important role in the management of diabetic disease. Diabetes, though commonly thought of as a disease of blood sugar, in fact affects the body in general as a disease of small blood vessels. That is why diabetes frequently attacks the kidneys, the brain, the eyes, and the peripheral circulation - places where small blood vessels are present.
In the eye, diabetes can be associated with early development of, and significant formation of, cataracts. There is a particular type of cataract which is associated with diabetes, and in some cases, the ophthalmologist may be the first physician to note the possible presence of diabetes. Fortunately, at Ophthalmology Associates, we are very experienced at diagnosing and treating this condition.
Perhaps the most feared complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, the small blood vessels in the retina can leak, causing fluid to enter the retina, producing swelling and decreased vision. In severe cases, the leakage can become significant, with bleeding, or even may result in the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which can cause extensive and damaging scarring within the retina. Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy can be effectively treated in most cases with a variety of laser treatments. It is absolutely crucial, however, that early diagnosis be made.
For this reason, at Ophthalmology Associates, we maintain a rigorous schedule of follow-up in all diabetic patients. By doing so, we maximize the chance of early detection, and prompt treatment of our patients.
It is important to note that all diabetics, whether type I, type II, pregnancy-induced, well-controlled, etc., are at risk for the complications of diabetes. Therefore, regular eye exams are absolutely essential in all such patients.