Patients who have diabetes are at greater risk of developing vision complications. People with diabetes should take extra care to prevent diabetes-related eye diseases from developing or worsening. Regular exams are key to the early detection of diabetic eye diseases.
For more than 30 years, Dr. David Masihdas has provided diabetic eye care. He and the Utah Eye Associates team, serving Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden, UT, and the surrounding areas, diagnose and treat retinopathy, macular edema, and other eye conditions.
Diabetes and Eye Care
Diabetes is caused by blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar levels, that are too high. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels in the eyes.
These conditions can lead to blood and fluid leakage from the eye’s retina. They can also promote the growth of new blood vessels on the retina, which can significantly damage vision.
People with diabetes should undergo dilated eye exams at least once a year at our Salt Lake City office so that Dr. Masihdas can detect early signs of eye disease.
3 Diabetes-Related Eye Diseases and How to Recognize Them
1. Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common diabetic eye diseases, and it is also among the leading causes of blindness in adults.
The early stages of diabetic retinopathy do not usually require treatment. Patients diagnosed with early-stage retinopathy should monitor blood sugar levels to prevent worsening of symptoms. If symptoms progress, treatment may become necessary to prevent further vision loss or blindness.
2. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy. It is characterized by the growth of blood vessels on the retina. These fragile blood vessels can leak blood and fluid into the retina. The result is significant vision loss and, in some cases, blindness.
Blood leakage into the retinas can sometimes cause floaters. Defined as small specs that affect vision, floaters often clear without intervention. However, patients should consult Dr. Masihdas about them immediately because floaters may signify a more serious condition. Early treatment can often prevent the problem from worsening.
3. Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema involves a buildup of fluid in the macula, the part of the retina that is sensitive to light. The macula is located at the center of the retina and has a high number of photoreceptor cells. This part of the eye allows a human to see detail. The macular region of the eye processes central vision while the remainder of the retina allows us to recognize peripheral vision.
Retinal swelling is one of the earliest signs of diabetic macular edema. Symptoms of retinal swelling include blurry vision, floaters, and sensitivity to light.
If a person with diabetes notices swelling in the retina, he or she should talk to an eye care specialist about it. Symptoms of macular edema include blurry or distorted central vision, such as seeing straight lines as wavy and colors as washed out or faded.
While diabetic macular edema can be diagnosed before symptoms present, keep Dr. Masihdas apprised of any symptoms you experience so that he can intervene with treatment if necessary.
Quality Diabetic Eye Care at Utah Eye Associates
From diagnosis to treatment, Dr. David Masihdas and his team provide diabetic eye care to preserve the invaluable gift of sight. Call (801) 363-2851 to make an appointment at our Salt Lake City, UT, office or contact us online today.