The Connection between Blood Sugar and Eye Problems

Diabetes is a major public health problem that is approaching epidemic proportions in the United States and globally. It’s a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. The excess blood sugar can wreak havoc on blood vessels throughout the body and cause damage to important body parts, including your eyes.

Complications from diabetes that affect the eyes is called diabetic retinopathy – a condition caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Greenbelt, our highly-skilled eye specialists are well equipped to diagnose and treat ocular conditions such diabetic retinopathy, helping to maintain healthy vision for all our patients.

Diabetic retinopathy develops gradually, as the excess sugar levels in the blood eventually lead to a blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels, but they don’t develop properly and can leak easily.

In its initial stages, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems, but as the condition progresses, symptoms can include blurred vision, floaters (spots), vision loss, and dark or empty areas in your vision. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.

Treatment depends largely on the condition’s type and severity but is geared toward slowing or stopping progression of the condition. Some types can be managed with good blood sugar control; in more advanced cases, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Your trusted partner in care

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Greenbelt, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

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Uncontrolled Diabetes Increases Risk of Certain Eye Complications

It’s no secret that diabetes opens the door to a host of serious health complications including those that affect the eye. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Greenbelt, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to treat eye conditions associated with diabetes, helping to maintain the best possible vision for each of our patients.

In people with diabetes, too much blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels at the back inner wall of the eye (called the retina) or block them completely. This condition is diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes, tiny bulges protrude from the vessel walls, leaking or oozing fluid and blood into the retina. This fluid can cause swelling (edema) in the central part of the retina (macula). This is a serious eye complication called diabetic macular edema (DME) that can cause vision problems or blindness.

DME is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetic retinopathy. Poor blood sugar control and additional medical disorders, such as high blood pressure, increase the patient’s risk of blindness. DME can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy, although it is more likely to occur later as the disease progresses.

Traditional treatment for DME involves the use of a procedure called focal laser photocoagulation, which uses the heat from a laser to seal leaking blood vessels in the retina. More recent treatments involve drugs that are injected directly into the eye. These injections are usually given monthly for several months, as many injections are needed to control the leakage. Once the leakage is under control, continued monitoring is important.

Just how many injection treatments a particular patient will need will vary, but experience has shown that patients benefit most when they follow a consistent treatment regime, so starting treatment — and continuing with it — is very important to insure that your eyes and vision do as well as possible.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Greenbelt, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

Greenbelt Eye Care

Eye Care in 20770

Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop eye problems including retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and double vision. In addition to monitoring and controlling their blood sugar levels under the care of their primary care physician, it is essential that people with diabetes visit their ophthalmologist at The Retina Group of Washington for diabetic eye testing and Greenbelt eye care.

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Greenbelt Eye Care

Diabetics can significantly reduce eye complications with annual eye exams to evaluate and monitor their retinal health. In the United States, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. While diabetes can cause cataracts and glaucoma, it can also affect the blood circulation to your eye and can cause retinopathy. Often, one may not be aware of any symptoms even when significant diabetic retinopathy is present, so it is important to visit our ophthalmologist as an eye exam is the only means of detecting diabetic retinopathy. If we suspect you have diabetic retinopathy, our optometry office will perform comprehensive Greenbelt eye care that includes a visual acuity test, pupil dilation, and careful examination of your retina. After the pupil is dilated, a device is used to view the retina and determine the extent of the retinopathy.

Your eye doctor may administer a fluorescein dye test, where an injection of dye into a vein in the arm is followed by several minutes of retinal photos being taken. This creates a detailed cross-sectional image of the eye, allowing us to better determine the extent of your retinopathy. However, the best therapy for diabetic retinopathy, as with most optical ailments, is prevention. Studies show that strict control of blood sugar levels can significantly lower the risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. Laser surgery is often the first line of treatment if macular edema or proliferative retinopathy is present. The primary goal of this treatment is to prevent further vision loss, but it is not a cure. Other, less invasive treatments include medications.

If you are experiencing blurred vision to any extent, or notice small specks or large floaters obscuring your vision, especially if you are diabetic, is it vital to your optical and overall health that you contact our ophthalmologist for comprehensive diabetic eye exams and Greenbelt eye care. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults, but it can easily be prevented by calling and scheduling an appointment at The Retina Group of Washington today.

7501 Greenway Ctr Dr, Suite 300
Greenbelt, MD 20770
(301) 441-4577