Diabetes can affect many areas of the body, including the eyes. Diabetic eye disease is a broad term that includes a number vision problems people with diabetes may experience as a complication of their condition. Many people with diabetes have some form of diabetic eye disease.

The ophthalmologists at California Retina Associates specialize in retinal vision conditions, including those associated with diabetes. If you’re diabetic and you’re experiencing vision problems, or it’s time for your annual eye exam, please call our practice at (619) 425-7755 or (760) 352-7755 to schedule your appointment.

Common Diabetic Vision Conditions

Those with diabetes face an increased risk of developing vision conditions that include the following:

  • Diabetic retinopathy, in which elevated blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels that nourish the retina, or the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye
  • Glaucoma, in which poor fluid outflow and increased pressure within the eye can damage the optic nerve, which carries information to the brain

Both diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma can contribute to vision loss if not treated. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Glaucoma is also common among people who are not diabetic, and along with age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, it is one of the top causes of blindness worldwide.

The Detection of Diabetic Eye Disease

If you have diabetes, it’s important to undergo a thorough, dilated eye exam at least once every year (or more frequently), so our doctors can identify problems that otherwise don’t cause any symptoms. Patients often do not realize they have anything to worry about until their diabetic eye disease has advanced considerably and the damage is irreversible. The earlier diabetic eye disease is detected, the better the chances for preserving your vision.

Diabetic Eye Care and Treatment

Treating diabetic eye disease depends on the nature and extent of the problem.

Diabetic retinopathy may be treated in a few different ways. Intravitreal injections of special medications can help inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Laser therapy can also help slow the leakage of blood into the eye. Vitrectomy may be needed to remove blood from the vitreous area of the eye.

There are also multiple options for glaucoma treatment, depending on the state of the condition. When possible, our eye doctors prefer conservative treatment using prescription eye drops to reduce intraocular pressure. Some patients, however, may require surgical intervention to improve the outflow of fluid from the eye and lower intraocular pressure.

Our retina specialists will work with you to ascertain the extent of the damage and determine a customized solution that preserves your vision and ocular health. It’s also good for you to work with your other doctors to help keep your blood sugar levels steady and your diabetes under control.

Contact California Retina Associates

If you have diabetes and you’re experiencing vision problems or you’re due for your regular eye exam, please contact California Retina Associates today to schedule your appointment. Our ophthalmologists welcome patients from the greater San Diego area.