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Diabetic Eye Disease 101

Diabetic Eye Disease 101

Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? Diabetes increases the risk of multiple eye diseases, many of which can lead to permanent vision loss. Oftentimes, there are no early symptoms for these conditions, making it essential for people with diabetes to receive regular comprehensive eye examinations. What causes diabetic eye disease? When a person’s blood glucose levels remain too high for too long, the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye start to break down. These damaged blood vessels can result in swelling, scarring, and increased intraocular pressure, or high pressure within the eye. All of these factors can lead to diabetic eye disease. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease is not a single disease, but rather a group of eye problems caused by diabetes. Common diabetic eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes – in fact, a third of people with diabetes who are older than 40 already have signs of the condition. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you might experience no symptoms. As the condition progresses, you may experience: Blurred visionImpaired color visionEmpty or dark spaces in your visionSpots floating in your vision, or floatersVision loss Thankfully, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of permanent vision loss by 95 percent. Diabetic macular edema...