HealthLiving

DIABETES & Your Eye Health

szemesz1March 26, 2013, the American Diabetes Association® held their annual Alert Day®.  It is now a one-day “wake-up call”, held on the fourth Tuesday of every March that the organization promotes the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test.  The key is to create awareness and encourage people to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes mellitus is a chronic illness that requires continuing medical care and ongoing patient self-management.  Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.  Diabetes care is complex and requires multi-factorial risk reduction strategies beyond sugar control.

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them, seven million – do not even know they have it.  One in three American adults, an additional 79 million have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop.

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, living inactive lifestyles and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease.  A large body of evidence exists that supports a range of interventions to improve diabetes outcomes.  Currently more than 5 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy due to type 1 or type 2 diabetes. And that number will grow to about 16 million by 2050, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  What is more shocking is that between 12,000 and 24,000 new cases of blindness related to diabetic retinopathy occur in the United States each year.

Eye problems caused by Diabetes

High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see.  Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. What to do to prevent eye problems?

Most important part of preventing diabetes eye problems is keeping your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as you can.  Seeing you eye doctor for an exam every year even if you are not experiencing vision change.  The eye care professional will examine the back of your eye and check overall eye health. Finding eye problems early and getting treatment right away will help prevent more serious problems later on.

Fundus photography records the retina view, the neurosensory tissue in our eyes which translates the optical images we see into the electrical impulses our brain understands. The retina can be photographed directly as the pupil is used as both an entrance and exit for the fundus camera’s illuminating and imaging light rays. The patient sits at the fundus camera with their chin in a chin rest and their forehead against the bar. An ophthalmic photographer focuses and aligns the fundus camera. A photo is takes as the technician presses the shutter release, creating a fundus photograph like the picture above. Optometrists use these retinal photographs to follow, diagnose, and treat eye diseases.

How do you know if you have retina damage from diabetes?

You may not have any signs of diabetes retina damage or you may have one or more signs.  This is why annual testing is so important.  Some symptoms include:

blurry or double vision

rings, flashing lights, or blank spots

dark or floating spots

pain or pressure in one or both of your eyes

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, living inactive lifestyles and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease.  A large body of evidence exists that supports a range of interventions to improve diabetes outcomes.  Currently more than 5 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy due to type 1 or type 2 diabetes. And that number will grow to about 16 million by 2050, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  What is more shocking is that between 12,000 and 24,000 new cases of blindness related to diabetic retinopathy occur in the United States each year.

For all these reasons, make sure you take care of your own eye health and that of affected family members or friends when any kind of diabetes is present.

To learn more about your eye health call to schedule your annual eye exam and fundus photography screening.  Contact EYE Q OPTIQUE at Buffalo Grove 847-947-8875. 

Previous post

Прием в честь оперной певицы Анны Нетребко

Next post

Мечтать не вредно...