All You Need to Know About Diabetic Eye Disease

All You Need to Know About Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes is a metabolic condition causing a high sugar content in the blood by the body’s failure to properly respond to insulin, or the body’s inadequate production of this hormone.  One of the many complications of this condition is diabetic eye disease, or diabetic retinopathy.

The doctors and the healthcare professionals at Premier Eye Care, located near you in Calgary, want to educate patients both current and new about diabetic retinopathy and their suggested treatments.

How It Happens

The most damaging side effect of diabetes is the high sugar content that changes the consistency of blood.  The blood of diabetic patients has high viscosity, meaning the blood actually thickens, resulting in a sluggish flow with decreased oxygen and nutrient levels.  All organs of the body are affected, including the eyes.

Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy has two stages: non-proliferative and proliferative.

In the early, or non-proliferative, stage, there are no manifestations; this means no new tissue or blood vessels are produced.  Although there may be no proliferation of vessels, the existing vessels will weaken, and could eventually rupture, due to the thickness of the blood.

The primary symptom of the non-proliferative stage is macular edema, or the build-up of fluid in the macular region of the eye causing distorted vision.

In the advanced, or proliferative, stage, your body tries to compensate for the restricted blood flow by allowing the growth of abnormal blood vessels.  These atypical vessels are tiny, fragile and prone to rupture.

Blank spots across the field of vision are the blood clots formed when the vessels rupture.  Impaired central vision, controlled by the macular region of the eye, may lead to blindness if the blood clots are left untreated.

Our Suggested Treatment

Diabetic retinopathy is asymptomatic regardless of its stage.  It is important to maintain regular eye examinations if you have, or a family member has, diabetes.

The goal is to manage the condition and to prevent its progression.  In cases of impaired central vision, the abnormal vessels and the clots may need to be removed by laser surgery.

The suggested treatment is to follow the prescribed dosage, at the prescribed frequency, of all medications and adhere to the schedule of eye examinations.  A patient must follow any necessary changes in diet and lifestyle.

The doctors and the healthcare professionals at Premier Eye Care, with offices in both Seton and Mahogany in Calgary, are trusted and highly recommended for treatments to improve the vision of its patients.

If you are concerned about any symptom you may be experiencing that affect your vision, please contact Premier Eye Care today, where new patients are always welcome.