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Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes is a serious disease that if not controlled, can cause damage to most of the organs in your body. One third of diabetics have diabetic eye complications. Of these patients, 5% eventually go blind. This is mainly due to missed diagnosis.

It is therefore extremely important to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist when you are diagnosed with diabetes. Yearly consultations are usually required to detect problems early so that vision can be preserved.

OCT or optical coherence tomography scans are imperative in managing diabetic patients. A fluorescein angiogram is also done if retina complications are suspected. Patients with diabetes often develop cataracts sooner than other patients.

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease is a term used to describe a group of eye diseases that affect people with diabetes. Diabetes affects your eyes when your blood sugar is too high. Several eye problems that can all result from diabetes include the following:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – this condition is caused by damage to the blood vessels of retina. As the condition progresses, you are likely to develop mild vision problems which can eventually lead to blindness.
  • Diabetic macular edema – this is the build-up of fluid in the centre of your retina called the macula. The build-up of this fluid causes the macula to swell which then distorts your vision.
  • Cataracts – these are the clouding of the lens of your eye. Clouded vision caused by this condition makes it difficult to perform activities such as reading or driving.
  • Glaucoma – this is a group of conditions that damage your optic nerve. The health of your optic nerve is imperative for good vision. Glaucoma is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye.

Symptoms of diabetic eye disease

At Kloof Eye, we care about the health of your eyes. Diabetic eye diseases often present with no early symptoms such as pain or changes in your vision. This is especially the case with diabetic retinopathy. We encourage you to visit our eye doctor should you experience any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Poor or low quality colour vision
  • Floaters or dark spots across your vision field
  • Flashes of light
  • Dark areas in your field of vision or vision loss
  • Blurry or wavy vision
  • Day-to-day changes in your vision

What are the risk factors?

  • High cholesterol – can increase the risk of developing a diabetic eye disease.
  • High blood pressure – damages blood vessels thus increases your chances of developing a diabetic eye disease.
  • Tobacco use – can contribute to high blood pressure as well as high blood lipid levels.
  • The duration of your diabetes – having diabetes for a long time puts you at a higher risk of getting a diabetic eye disease.
  • Poor blood sugar level control – consistently high blood sugar can increase the risk of developing a diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic eye disease treatment

Manage your diabetes by controlling your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol along with quitting smoking. This can go a long way in preventing serious diabetic eye diseases.Advanced eye problems caused by diabetes can be treated by your doctor either with medicines, surgery, or laser treatments.

  • Medicine: Your eyes can be treated with anti-VEGF medicine. These treatments reduce new blood vessel growth and are used to treat a number of eye conditions such as diabetic macular edema. These treatments help improve vision or stop vision loss.
  • Laser treatment: This is also known as photocoagulation and treats leaky blood vessels and extra fluid. This treatment can prevent eye diseases from progressing or getting worse.
  • Vitrectomy: This is a surgery performed by ophthalmologists to remove the vitreous gel. This is the clear gel that fills the centre of your eye.
  • Cataract surgery: This involves removing the cloudy lens of your eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.

Why choose Kloof Eye?

The team at Kloof Eye are dedicated eye care specialists. We are equipped with the latest techniques and solutions to provide our patients with the highest standard of eye care. Improving your vision and quality of life is our primary focus.

Our tried and trusted techniques have brought joy to many of our patients over the years. Our warm and friendly admission staff strive to ensure the highest standard of eye care is always maintained. Feel free to get in touch with us today for the ultimate in ophthalmic care.