People living with diabetes need to be extra aware of their eye health. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME) can both cause permanent vision loss, especially if not detected early or if poorly managed. Both diabetic retinopathy and DME have tell-tale signs of their development that can be detected with our diagnostic equipment. Diabetes can also have an impact on the development of cataracts and glaucoma.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye health is assessed using a variety of tests and diagnostic techniques including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and retinal photography. Additional testing is performed using dilation to ensure that we are able to see all areas of the inner eye.
Retinopathy is a vision-threatening disease that can cause irreparable vision loss. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina, usually because of fluctuating blood sugar levels that weaken cellular walls. There are several stages of retinopathy, broken down into two main categories: non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and the more severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
DME forms in people that already have retinopathy. Leaking blood vessels, associated with later stages of retinopathy, cause fluid to build up in the macula. This buildup of fluid can cause blurry vision, floaters, and eventually blindness if left untreated.