According to an estimate, around 37.3 million Americans suffer from diabetes. The aforementioned figure is ten percent of the American population. In addition, one out of 5 Americans does not know they suffer from diabetes. In addition, people with diabetes in Brampton are also at risk of catching diabetic eye diseases. For the same reason, optometrists recommend people regularly undergo an eye exam in Brampton. People with diabetes are at risk of catching eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, retinal detachment, and glaucoma, in addition to cataracts.
Why Are Diabetics at Risk of Catching Eye Diseases?
People with diabetes are at risk of catching eye diseases because of their very high plus uncontrolled sugar levels. You should know that high sugar levels in the blood can damage blood vessels in the entire body. As a result, people with diabetes are at an enhanced risk of catching heart disease, kidney disease, and possibly blindness. High sugar levels are responsible for damaging the sensitive blood vessels that render oxygenated blood to the eyes, retina, and other structures that allow us to see. The result is a loss of vision if those tiny vessels encounter damage.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy is a common eye disease that patients with diabetes can suffer from. Diabetics can catch this disease when their high blood sugar destroys the tiny and sensitive blood vessels. The destruction of sensitive blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the retina can cause diabetics to catch diabetic retinopathy. Besides, a healthy retina is essential for good vision. Further, a retina is a highly sensitive layer of cells that lie in the back of our eyes.
In addition, the damage to blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the retina causes them to leak. Consequently, it limits the blood flow to the sensitive cells in our retina and causes wavy or blurred vision. It is also the core of diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to complete blindness unless you treat it earlier. Diabetics with any type of diabetes can catch diabetic retinopathy. It means patients with Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy are at risk of diabetic retinopathy.
Moreover, the longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you will catch diabetic retinopathy. There are also other risk factors that can lead to this eye disease. Those factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and uncontrolled blood sugar levels. By the same token, it is important for people with diabetes to maintain their sugar levels in the target range.
Further, getting an eye exam in Brampton on a regular basis, such as from Mac & Co Eye-Care, can help an optometrist catch any early signs of the disease and treat it earlier, too, before the disease becomes severe.
How Does Diabetic Retinopathy Progress?
You may experience blurry or wavy vision if the eye doctors first diagnose it in you. You may see dots or flashes of light because of blurry vision that this disease can cause. Typically, this disease affects both eyes simultaneously. Moreover, diabetic retinopathy has two distinct stages, including the following:
- Stage 1 – Early or Non-Proliferative Stage: It is a stage when blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the retina weaken and bulge.
- Stage 2 – Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy or Proliferative Stage: In this stage, the centre of the eye can experience dark spots in mild cases and complete blockage in severe cases. You can face trouble seeing colours and empty or dark areas in your visual field. Further, it can cause you to suffer total vision loss.
What Is the Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy?
Early detection is the key to the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Undergoing a dilated and comprehensive eye exam every year can help an optometrist catch it at an early stage. Besides, it is more treatable at an early stage than at its advanced stage. Further, the following are possible treatments for diabetic retinopathy:
- Laser Therapy: It aids in sealing the blood vessels and creating some scar tissue. Consequently, it decelerates the growth of new blood vessels in the eye.
- VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) Inhibitor Medications: They slow the development of new blood vessel proliferation.
- Vitrectomy: It is a procedure that entails the removal of all vitreous and clear gel-like tissue that fills the eye.
Moreover, patients can prevent or delay the impact of diabetic retinopathy in the following ways:
- Getting an annual eye exam
- Controlling blood sugar
- Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Quitting smoking
- Engaging in workout
People with diabetes are t risk of catching eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy. It is one of the common eye diseases that can cause blurry or total loss of vision. Diabetic retinopathy has two stages, including the non-proliferative and the proliferative stage. Earlier detection while undergoing an eye exam in Brampton is the key to the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Further, current treatments for diabetic retinopathy include laser therapy, VEGF inhibitor medications, and vitrectomy. Lastly, controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels can help people delay or prevent the impact of diabetic retinopathy.