Some Treatment Options For Your Diabetic Eye Disease
If you have diabetes, you know it is important to get regular eye examinations. Eye disease is a common complication of diabetes. High blood sugar causes changes to the tiny blood vessels that feed the retina. The vessels become thick or they begin to leak. There can also be poor blood circulation in your eyes which leads to the development of frail vessels. You can have damage to your eyes before you realize it. That's why regular examinations are important. That way, early treatment can be started. Here are some treatment options your eye doctor may recommend.
Laser Eye Surgery
When you undergo this treatment, your eye doctor uses a laser to zap the blood vessels in your eyes that are leaking. When the vessels leak, it causes problems with your vision. Your eye structures, such as your retina, can be permanently damaged. A laser causes the blood weak blood vessels to clot off so blood and fluid no longer escapes into your eye. You have plenty of vessels available, so the circulation in your eyes won't be impaired because of the laser surgery. Instead, if laser treatments are done early in the course of your diabetic eye disease, it may be possible to prevent vision loss.
Another option for treating diabetic eye disease is the use of medications. Your doctor injects these directly into your eyes. One medication that may be considered is a corticosteroid, which is given to reduce swelling inside your eyes. Another class of medication is able to stop the growth of frail blood vessels. These vessels are not needed for proper blood circulation, and since they are frail, they are prone to leaking and causing eye damage. Medication can be injected into your eye that prevents these blood vessels from forming. The injections need to be repeated every few months because after the effects of the drug wears off, the vessels resume growing.
Controlling your blood sugar is the main treatment for diabetic eye disease. You may not be able to do it with diet alone, in which case your doctor may prescribe insulin or a different diabetic drug. Once you develop eye disease, your doctor may have you monitor your blood sugar at home daily to make sure it stays within range. You'll probably have regular blood glucose testing too so your doctor can judge how well your medication is working. Since high blood sugar is the cause of vessel damage in your eye, keeping your sugars low is of extreme importance when it comes to preventing vision loss.
In addition to seeing your diabetes doctor on a regular basis to monitor your blood sugars, you'll want to see your eye doctor often so the progression of your eye disease can be monitored and treated. Even if your vision seems okay to you and even if your blood sugars are usually in the normal range, if you know you have diabetes or prediabetes, you'll want to be conscientious about taking care of your eyes. It could mean the difference between good vision and being independent when you get older and developing blindness that affects your quality of life.
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