Damage To Your Eyes By Your Diabetes

Diabetes affects many areas of your health, including your eyesight. Changes in the blood vessels in your eye can cause a range of symptoms from blurry vision to complete loss of sight. Prevention of eye damage through the proper control of your diabetes is the best way to maintain healthy vision. But if you do begin to experience vision issues, here is what is happening to your eye and how your sight can be saved.

Damage to Your Retina

There are two common issues that can happen to your eyes as a result of your diabetes. Together they are referred to as diabetic retinopathy and each can become severe enough to cause loss of vision.

Nonproliferative retinopathy - Small blood vessels become inflamed in the back of your eye. These vessels won't allow the blood to flow normally through them, so the blood starts to pool in the vessels. Blood leaks from the vessels onto the retina and block the light that normally hits the surface of the eye. You'll begin to see dark shapes across your vision as the leaking continues. If the leaking becomes severe, you risk losing portions of your sight.

Proliferative retinopathy - As the blood vessels continue to be inflamed and leak blood, scar tissue develops on the retina. This tissue contracts and pulls on the surface of the eye. The retina can be pulled away from the eye, causing a complete loss of vision.

Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

Treating retinopathy to prevent vision loss is most successful when done during the early stages of nonproliferative retinopathy. Should the retina become detached, retinal surgery can be done to reattach the retina, but you may still experience a partial loss of vision. Laser surgery during the nonproliferative stage can prevent further loss of vision and restore some of your lost sight.

Photocoagulation - This laser surgery destroys the weak and leaking blood vessels in your eye. This stops the blood from pooling on the retina and affecting your vision. Some of the blood that has collected on the retina may be dried up, restoring some of the vision you've already lost.

Vitrectomy - If the leaking blood makes its way into the vitreous humor of your eye, your vision will be cloudy. This procedure removes that blood and the damage to your vision.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

Frequent eye exams are important to track the development of these weak blood vessels in your eye. Proper management of your glucose levels will slow down any loss of vision. Should your eye doctor detect the start of blood leaking onto the retina, early treatment with laser surgery will prevent a severe and permanent loss of vision.

For professional eye care, contact a company such as Coastal Eye Group PC