Diabetic Eye Disease: Treat early and often 

Anyone who’s diabetic, pre-diabetic, or genetically predisposed to the disease needs to take extra precautions regarding their eyesight. This is because certain eye conditions can develop when blood sugar isn’t stable. The most common of these is known as diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can—if left untreated—lead to irreversible blindness.

Regular checks are essential so that your ophthalmologist can diagnose the condition at the earliest stage and put a treatment plan in place.

All About Diabetic Eye Disease

  • What is diabetic eye disease?
  • What is the treatment for diabetic eye disease?
  • Choosing an eye doctor if you have or are at risk of diabetic eye disease

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease stems from prolonged high levels of sugar in the blood. This can cause damage to the blood vessels within the retina of the eye, whereby they weaken and prevent the unencumbered flow of oxygen-rich blood through the organ. Left untreated, this can cause permanent damage to eyesight and even a complete loss of sight. The longer you have had diabetes, the higher the risk is of developing the condition.

There are other factors, over and above that of having diabetes, that can increase the speed of progression. These include smoking, hypertension, and hyper-cholesterol. Pregnancy can cause it to worsen; Ethnicity also plays a part, with those from Native American, African American, and Hispanic backgrounds being more prone to the disease.

What is the treatment for diabetic eye disease?

By far the most important aspect of treatment is regular expert monitoring of the condition. Even if you’ve not developed diabetic eye disease, if you have the condition or fall into a risk category it’s vital to attend regular ophthalmology appointments to ensure diagnosis at the earliest opportunity.

The condition has two distinct stages: early diabetic retinopathy and advanced diabetic retinopathy. The treatment during the early stage is mainly that of control. This means keeping your blood sugar as stable as possible and reducing any high blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels. Generally, it’s only when diabetic eye disease falls into the advanced category that any further treatment takes place. 

At this point the options are:

  • Laser treatment
  • Eye surgery
  • Eye injections

What treatments your surgeon will use is dependent on the extent of the damage caused to the internal components of the eye and the speed at which the degeneration is occurring. Most treatments are carried out under local anesthetic and are quick and pretty much pain-free.

Choosing an eye doctor if you have or are at risk of diabetic eye disease

Diabetic eye disease is a serious condition that can have life-changing consequences. That’s why regular monitoring, early diagnosis, and any necessary treatment are vital for anyone predisposed to the condition.

Your choice of eye doctor should be someone who’s highly experienced in all aspects of diabetic eye disease. It’s advantageous to select a practitioner who champions the latest in treatment—the world of ophthalmology moves fast as technology continues to advance. Today’s cutting-edge techniques achieve excellent results, but the world’s best surgeons are always striving for improvement. That’s why placing your trust in a diabetic eye disease specialist means that, should your condition warrant it, there’s always the chance of benefiting from the very latest treatment options from a truly skilled pioneering surgeon. 

Worried About Diabetic Eye Disease? The WBEC Offers World-Leading Treatment

At the West Boca Eye Center, the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of diabetic eye disease is a specialty. Dr. Brent Bellotte leads a clinical team of the highest standard and he’s a globally recognized expert in the spearheading of treatment for a variety of complex eye conditions.

Your eyesight is the most precious of all senses and deserves the ultimate treatment and care. Visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/diabetic-retinopathy/ to discover more and call the clinic today to book your expert appointment.