If you’re one of the 100 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes, you have an increased risk of developing diabetic eye diseases. Leslie Weil, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist, diagnoses and treats diabetic eye diseases, including retinopathy and macular edema, at Weil Eye Care Medical Center in San Carlos, California. Regular eye exams are critical to early diagnosis and treatment, which could save your sight. Call Weil Eye Care Medical Center or schedule a consultation online today.
Diabetes is a group of diseases that interfere with the way your body converts glucose into energy.
When left untreated, elevated blood sugar levels cause damage throughout your body, including the small blood vessels in your eyes.
This leads to diabetic eye disease that can damage your vision and potentially lead to blindness, such as:
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when you have abnormal blood vessel growth in your retina. Your retina is the part of your eye that holds the light-sensitive nerve cells that send signals to your brain, allowing you to see.
The abnormal blood vessels leak blood and other fluid into your retina, and this causes scarring. The damage occurs gradually, but over time can lead to retinal detachment and blindness.
Diabetic macular edema occurs when fluid builds up in your retina and cause swelling. Your macula is the part of your retina that provides your central vision. When your macula is damaged, you can experience vision loss and eventually blindness.
Diabetes also increases your risk of glaucoma and cataracts.
If you have diabetes, you should have annual comprehensive eye exams with an ophthalmologist like Dr. Weil. During your exam, she conducts special tests and retinal screenings to check for signs of diabetes-related eye disease.
Diabetic eye disease develops gradually, so you might not notice symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Routine eye exams are the best way to monitor your eye health and get the treatment you need before you have irreversible vision loss.
Dr. Weil offers customized treatment plans for diabetic eye disease. Depending on your condition, she may advise monitoring the condition if it is not high risk for vision loss. If your condition may be high risk, then Dr. Weil will refer you to a retina subspecialist for treatment which may include anti-VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) medication and/or laser treatment.
You should also take steps to control your diabetes and regulate your glucose levels, as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels if you have hypertension and/or elevated cholesterol. When your diabetes is under control, your risk of diabetic eye disease lessens.
If you have diabetes and are looking for an expert ophthalmologist to monitor your eye health and provide customized care, call Weil Eye Care Medical Center or make an appointment online today.