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17/Jun/2015

 

According to www.diabetes.org, recent data has shown that 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and about 86 million are showing signs of pre-diabetes. With so many sufferers, our team of eye doctors in the Princeton and Hamilton, NJ areas see a lot of patients for diabetes-related eye care.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which an individual has increased levels of blood glucose or sugar. The pancreas is the vital organ that is responsible for producing the hormone insulin, which converts sugar into energy for the body. Blood sugar levels increase in the absence of insulin or when the body doesn’t respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced.

Early Detection

As is the case with most medical conditions, early detection is the key to minimizing or even negating diabetes’ long-term effects on the body. A number of the early signs of diabetes have to do with the health and function of the eyes.

Earliest symptoms of diabetes can be one or any combination of the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble reading signs or books
  • Seeing double
  • One or both eyes hurt for no apparent reason
  • Prolonged red eyes
  • Feeling pressure in the eyes
  • Seeing spots or floaters
  • Straight lines look bent
  • Diminished peripheral vision

Secondary Eye Complications

Aside from those relatively minor vision concerns, other more serious eye conditions can result from diabetes, including:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: This condition is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. The accumulated effect of increased blood sugar over time damages the blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye). These blood vessels enlarge, leak fluid, and create new, weak blood vessels that don’t supply proper blood flow in the eye.
  • Cataract: In this condition, the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy as we grow older. Patients with diabetes tend to get cataracts at a younger age and have them advance faster than the general population. Cataracts can be easily removed, but in patients with diabetes recurring and additional complications might arise.
  • Diabetic macular edema: Once leaky blood vessels are damaged by uncontrolled blood sugar, the macula, which is responsible for sharp central vision, swells and causes blurry vision.
  • Neovascular glaucoma: This condition occurs when pressure builds up inside the eye due to new blood vessels growing on the iris (the colored part of the eye), closing off the fluid flow in the eye.
  • Retinal detachment: This occurs when the new blood vessels form scar tissue in the retina. The scars shrink, causing the retina to wrinkle and pull from its normal position.

Poor control of blood sugar levels can also lead to changes of the refractive status of the eye.

How We Can Help

Our experienced team of doctors at Outlook Eyecare can help you detect early damage along with diagnosing these symptoms and recommending the best course of treatment. The annual dilated diabetic eye exam includes measuring the fluid pressure inside your eyes (tonometry) to rule out glaucoma and checking each tissue inside the eye to rule out any signs of bleeding, fluid leakage, or new blood vessel formation. The eye is the only organ in the human body that allows us as eye doctors to see with the naked eye how the blood vessels behave in diabetes and other systemic diseases.

As always, a healthy lifestyle goes a long way toward your well-being. Exercising, healthy eating habits, and regular monitoring of your blood sugar and blood pressure will help win the fight against diabetes and its detrimental effects on your vision.


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During our years providing the Hamilton and Princeton areas with ophthalmology services, we have heard from many patients who have simply felt overwhelmed by the amount of information available on the Internet about their eye needs. That’s why we’ve added a blog to our site. We hope this platform will serve as a trustworthy, easy-to-use resource for both our patients and other people researching eye care topics.

We’ll be sure to keep the blog regularly updated with the topics that matter most to you, including:

  • News from the field of ophthalmology, including FDA approvals and emerging science
  • Announcements related to our practice, such as new treatments or staff members
  • Answers to common questions and concerns regarding eye conditions and procedures
  • General tips to keep your eyes at their best

We also want this forum to be a way to connect directly with you, our valued patient. You can expect candid advice from our experienced team, and we invite you to ask us questions and leave comments about what’s on your mind.

Do you have a topic about which you’d like to learn more? Leave us a comment, and we’ll do our best to address it in an upcoming post. Be sure to check back regularly to keep yourself in the know about what’s going on at Outlook Eyecare!




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Monroe Township
Outlook Eyecare
5 Centre Drive #1B
Monroe Township, NJ 08831
Phone: (609) 409-2777


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Outlook Eyecare
100 Canal Pointe Boulevard #100
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609) 419-1920



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2010 – 2018 Outlook Eyecare © All rights reserved.



2010 – 2018 Outlook Eyecare © All rights reserved.