Individuals diagnosed with diabetes must become more diligent with all aspects of their wellbeing in order to remain healthy. Maintaining eye health is no exception. Diabetic individuals are at a significantly higher risk for several conditions that can lead to permanent eyesight loss if left untreated. However, by maintaining proper lifestyle habits and making regular visits to your ophthalmologist, you can help preserve your clear vision.
Diabetic retinopathy constitutes any condition brought on by diabetes that affects the health of the retina. In general, this disorder can be differentiated into either nonproliferative retinopathy or proliferative retinopathy. Though both problems are damaging to the eye structure, proliferative retinopathy is usually more detrimental to a person’s vision. Retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in the eye begin to malfunction and dilate. If they continue to deteriorate, the blood vessels may cease to work entirely. This can cause the eye to develop new blood vessels that are not nearly as strong as the ones they replace. This puts the eye at an increased risk for internal fluid leakage and bleeding, which can lead to eyesight loss and permanent blindness.
A person with diabetes has an increased risk for developing cataracts. Though cataracts can often be treated with surgery, diabetic patients must be careful to avoid this problem if at all possible, as it can lead to an increased occurrence of both retinopathy and glaucoma.
Diabetic individuals are also at an increased risk for glaucoma. In fact, the American Diabetes Association reports that diabetics are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma than non-diabetic individuals. Damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed, but it can be managed, so individuals with diabetes must take special care to visit an ophthalmologist for eye exams regularly.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, Dr. Mark Hornfeld can provide the comprehensive and consistent eye health support you need to maintain your vision. To find out more about our full range of ocular services or to schedule an ophthalmology consultation, please call our NYC facility at (212) 580-8881.