Diabetes is a complex condition that changes how your body metabolizes foods that you eat. Glucose is essential for every part of your body, and insulin helps your cells absorb glucose. Diabetes is a condition in which the insulin levels are not adequate to ensure that your cells absorb the glucose. Left untreated, diabetes may cause serious medical concerns that affect your heart, kidneys, extremities, and eyes. People with diabetes should be screened for signs of these complications, including diabetic retinopathy.
The Effects of Diabetes on Your Eyesight
As insulin levels in your body decrease, glucose levels increase. The higher amounts of sugar in your blood stream damages the vessels in your eyes and may cause the vessels to swell, rupture or impede blood flow. In some cases, new blood vessels develop in the eyes as the body attempts to route blood to the tissues. Over time, eyesight is diminished and left untreated; diabetic retinopathy can cause a complete loss of sight.
How Does Diabetic Retinopathy Develop?
Diabetic retinopathy has two stages, and the condition may be diagnosed in either stage. In the earliest stage, the small blood vessels in the eye begin to leak into surrounding tissues, and the fluid causes swelling of the retina. At the center of the retina is an area is known as the “macula” that helps you to discern details with your vision. The retinal swelling typically occurs in this area, and a person will gradually lose eyesight. The problem worsens as blood vessels to the macula no longer carry blood. In the second stage of diabetic retinopathy, the retina starts to develop new blood vessels that rupture and leak blood into other areas of the eyes.
Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?
Managing your blood sugar is the best approach for preventing diabetic retinopathy. If Dr. Aizuss detects signs of the condition during your eye exam, he may recommend medications, laser treatments or surgery.
Learn More About Diabetic Eye Care. Contact Dr. David Aizuss.
To learn more about diabetic eye care, cataracts, glaucoma, LASIK laser vision correction and our other services, contact Dr. David Aizuss to schedule an appointment. We have two convenient locations to serve you. You can call our Encino office at (818) 907-1038 and our West Hills office at (818) 346-8118.