According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.1 million people suffer from diabetes in the United States. That’s 9.3 percent of the population.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease where affected individuals experience difficulty producing enough insulin. The food we consume is converted into glucose (sugars) by the body. Normally, this is the point where the pancreas releases insulin, which allows your body to process that glucose and turn it into energy. For diabetics, this process is not executed properly, leading to a build-up of glucose in the blood.
There are different kinds of diabetes, the most common of which are type one and type two diabetes. What they all have in common is their negative impact on a person’s overall health. The most serious consequences include kidney failure, digestion issues, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Deteriorating vision and even blindness are also possible long-term implications of diabetes, making diabetic eye care a priority for those suffering from this metabolic disease.
Retinal Damage The Most Common Concern of Diabetic Eye Care
Potential retinal damage is one of the main focuses of diabetic eye care. Diabetic retinopathy affects the blood vessels in the retina, the layer of tissue in the eye responsible for transferring focused light into neural signals that can be transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve. Diabetic eye care is important for catching this condition early and preventing vision loss.
Retinal damage is a tricky problem since it is a condition that is often difficult to notice until it is too late, making preventative diabetic eye care extremely important. People with diabetes are advised to see an ophthalmologist every year for a comprehensive eye exam. In some cases, an ophthalmologist may advise a patient to come in more frequently. A dilation test is essential during an eye exam for effective diabetic eye care.
Dilation tests are a crucial tool in an ophthalmologist’s arsenal when it comes to diabetic eye care. A dilation test involves the application of eye drops that enlarge the pupils. This provides your eye doctor with a better view to the back of your eye and the opportunity to see any developing issues in the retina of a diabetic patient. An eye doctor can also take digital retinal photographs at each check up as an additional part of a person’s diabetic eye care. This provides the doctor with a record of the eyes and a point of reference for comparison if there are any future anomalies.
Increased Likelihood of Cataracts and Glaucoma in Younger Individuals With Diabetes
Diabetic eye care is not restricted to addressing the possible development of diabetic retinopathy. Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of acquiring other eye conditions including cataracts and glaucoma. In fact, those with diabetes are more likely to developing cataracts and glaucoma – normally age-related diseases – at a much younger age. Proper diabetic eye care that includes regular check ups can flag the development of conditions early on and ensure they are treated before they’ve had a chance to become more serious.
Diabetes is a frustrating condition. Its ability to affect one’s vision in addition to their other bodily functions is no easy fact, but diabetic eye care is not an impossible task. Our dedicated team of eye care professionals at Davidorf Eye Group is committed to providing quality care and thoughtful guidance to individuals in the Greater Los Angeles and West Hills area. Book an appointment today to learn more about Davidorf’s proactive approach to preventative diabetic eye care.