Diabetes can affect the eyes and people not even know it. So everyone who has diabetes, whether that person is you, your family member, or friend needs at least a yearly dilated diabetes eye exam.
Unfortunately, nearly half of all people with severe diabetes do not get the treatment they need. We have wonderful treatments that help to reduce the chance of vision loss due to diabetes. While no treatment can ever be guaranteed, the earlier these techniques are used when needed, the better the chance of success.
Diabetic eye disease can range from no disease at all to total blindness. Among the more important factors in determining the visual risk from diabetes are the presence of abnormal blood vessels and the presence of swelling.
The absence or presence of abnormal blood vessels divides the classification of diabetic eye disease into two major categories: non-proliferative, meaning no abnormal blood vessels, and proliferative, indicating the presence of abnormal blood vessels. As you might expect, proliferative is a more advance stage of the disease. Depending on the circumstances, a laser treatment may be recommended.
Overlying the above mentioned classification system is the notion of significant swelling or so-called clinically significant macular edema. This type of swelling can occur in either the non-proliferative or proliferative forms of diabetic eye disease. If the swelling meets a certain criteria, primarily involving the amount of swelling and the swelling proximity of it to the best part of vision, it is called clinically significant macular edema and a laser treatment may be recommended along with a fluorescein angiogram to guide the laser.
Tight control of blood sugar has been shown to have an overall beneficial effect on the eye. Also, some studies indicate that blood pressure control and cholesterol control also have a beneficial effect on the eye.
SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Center for Retina Care currently are studying the effects of diabetes on the eye
At the Center for Retina Care with our strong clinical and research programs we hope to help define quality diabetes eye care.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 315 464-5252.