Be proactive; save your sight
How can it be November already? Wasn’t it just June? In a year that has flown by with what feels like record speed, November reminds us to pause and consider all the things we have to be thankful for. Things like family, friends and treasured memories. Things like happiness and health. Even good eyesight is something to be thankful for.
November is also Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetic Eye Disease is a real concern for anyone who suffers from diabetes. There are several kinds of diabetic eye disease, but all of them can result in vision loss and even blindness. At Cargo Eye Care, your trusted vision specialists since 2002, we care about you, your health, your eyes and your vision!
Diabetic Eye Disease Often Comes with No Early Warning Signs
“Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74. Early detection, timely treatment and appropriate follow-up care are the only ways to prevent vision loss.”
Dr. Jonathan Cargo
According to the National Eye Institute, more than 7 million Americans are impacted by diabetes-related eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy and macular edema.
The truth is, at any given time, people who have diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic eye disease. When blood sugar levels remain elevated over a long period, complications can occur in different parts of your body, including your eyes.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the Most Common Type of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak, or they can even close, stopping blood from passing through. All of these changes can result in vision loss.
Like many eye diseases, diabetic retinopathy most often develops without early warning signs. The damage can occur slowly and is difficult to detect without regular and accurate monitoring by a trained eye professional.
Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy. It is caused by damaged blood vessels that swell and leak fluid into the macula (which is responsible for sharp, central vision). Over time, this swelling can lead to permanent vision loss.
How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends on the severity of the condition, and, in some cases, medical management by a retina specialist is all that’s needed. However, in more serious cases, we may recommend one or more of the following treatment options and can refer you to a trusted ophthalmologist who can provide these advanced treatments:
Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (ANTI-VEGF)
This injection can help with two problems, reducing the number of abnormal blood vessels in the retina and also decreasing fluid.
Focal or Grid Laser
In some instances, laser surgery is used to seal a blood vessel that is leaking or to stimulate the cells under the retina to absorb the leaked fluid.
For more severe cases of diabetic retinopathy when the eye is filled with blood or if a retinal detachment is present, vitrectomy surgery is an option. Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that removes vitreous gel, blood and scar tissue in the back of the eye. It is also used to repair retinal detachments that result from scar tissue and abnormal blood vessel growth in advanced diabetic eye disease.
Commit to Your Annual Eye Exam
If you have diabetic eye disease, you face a very real risk of losing your vision. However, it’s possible to reduce that risk. Prioritize having an annual dilated eye exam at Cargo Eye Care. It can help detect things that a regular vision test can’t, and it can help detect more serious vision problems before they cause irreversible damage to your eyesight. Dr. Cargo and Dr. Patel enjoy helping patients navigate caring for their sight as they work to manage their diabetes.
Annual comprehensive eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, allowing for more timely treatment. This is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends people with diabetes have their eyes checked annually, or as frequently as their eye doctor recommends.
At Cargo Eye Care, we want our patients to enjoy a high quality of life while managing their diabetes. Our doctors have extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of diabetic eye disease. And this November, you’ve likely met your deductible for the year, making it an ideal time to seek treatment for any kind of eye condition you may be dealing with.
If you have diabetes (even if you aren’t experiencing any eye symptoms at this time), schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Cargo Eye Care to protect yourself from preventable vision loss. It would be our great honor to serve you.