Diabetes is a complex condition with many effects on a person’s health. Your vision can deteriorate and leave you blind if diabetes is left untreated. Dr. Edward Fries and the team at the Decatur Eye Center in Decatur, Texas, are experts at diagnosing and treating diabetic eye disease and its associated conditions. Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fries and protect your eye sight.

Diabetic Eye Care Q & A

by Edward H. Fries, MS, OD

What conditions does diabetic eye disease cause?

Diabetic retinopathy
This is the most frequent cause of vision problems among diabetic patients, as well as a leading cause of blindness in adults. Changes to the blood vessels in the retina may cause them to leak or bleed, which in turn distorts your vision. Hemorrhages can cause floating spots that block sight.

Diabetic macular edema
This condition is caused by diabetic retinopathy. An area of the retina called the macula becomes swollen because of bleeding or fluid leaks.

Cataracts are up to five times more likely to form in diabetic patients. This clouding of the eye’s lens may also begin earlier in your life if you have diabetes.

Twice as likely to occur if you have diabetes, the diseases that group under the glaucoma name cause damage to the optic nerve. Some diseases within this group stem from increased pressure in the fluid inside the eyes.

All forms of diabetic eye disease can potentially cause severe vision loss or blindness.

How do I know if I have diabetic eye disease?

The early stages of diabetic eye conditions often show no accompanying symptoms. If you’re diabetic, Dr. Fries recommends eye testing annually to monitor the effects of the condition on your eyesight. The Decatur Eye Center uses the latest in testing technology to identify eye problems in the earliest stages before there is any noticeable effect on vision.

How can I protect my eyesight if I have diabetes?

Once vision loss occurs, it’s often irreversible. That’s why preventive testing with Dr. Fries is critical if you have diabetes. The risk of blindness due to diabetic eye disease may be reduced as much as 95% with early detection.

Color testing detects eye changes due to diabetes with high sensitivity. Advanced neovascular testing identifies the possibility of eye hemorrhaging before it occurs. Testing the pressure inside the eye and full dilation eye exams also reveal potential problems.

If you’re diabetic, Dr. Fries recommends comprehensive eye exams annually, as well as staying on top of blood glucose control. Those who keep blood sugar levels near optimal can delay the onset of any diabetes-related eye problems.