How Retinopathy Is Treated
If a doctor diagnoses you with retinopathy at your diabetic eye exam, all is not lost! Tremendous strides have been made in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. These treatments can prevent blindness in most people, but as always, the earlier diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, the better your chances will be.
Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetic Retinopathy
You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, or help prevent it getting worse, by:
- controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- taking your diabetes medicine as prescribed
- attending all your screening appointments
- getting medical advice quickly if you notice any changes to your vision
Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, its often a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that:
You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes
Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted
If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, its time to talk with your doctor.
Recommended Reading: Type 2 Diabetes And Blood Pressure
Eye Risks In Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to several complications if not treated early on. When a person has diabetes, the risk of experiencing abnormalities in the body is great. One such risk that a person has to deal with in diabetes are discomforts in the eyes. Bloodshot eyes in diabetes are even a usual sign of diabetes. There are still other complications surrounding diabetes that are associated with the eyes. Some of them include the following:
How Do Health Problems From Diabetes Begin
If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called hyperglycemia . High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar sticks to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Lets look at how this damage happens.
Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean To Be Diabetic
How Will My Eye Doctor Check For Diabetic Retinopathy
Eye doctors can check for diabetic retinopathy as part of a dilated eye exam. The exam is simple and painless your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate your pupil and then check your eyes for diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems.
If you have diabetes, its very important to get regular eye exams. If you do develop diabetic retinopathy, early treatment can stop the damage and prevent blindness.
If your eye doctor thinks you may have severe diabetic retinopathy or DME, they may do a test called a fluorescein angiogram. This test lets the doctor see pictures of the blood vessels in your retina.
Causes Of Red Eyes In Your Dog
Several culprits could result in red eyes in dogs.
Your dog may experience seasonal allergies, which result in red eyes caused by the environment or, in some cases, brought on by diet.
The best way to tackle this is by tracking when a dog has a red-eye outbreak.
If its only during a specific part of the year, then simple dog eye drops like Nutri-Vet will help relieve eye redness in your dog.
If its a year-long or a food-related allergic reaction, it will take longer to figure out the culprit, and you will need to discuss this with a vet.
2. Cherry Eye
If you see a bulge of pink, usually near the corner of the eye closest to the dogs nose, this is likely a condition called Cherry Eye.
Dogs have a third eyelid that you cant normally see. This pops out in animals who have weak ligaments holding that lid in place.
Certain breeds have a propensity toward Cherry Eye, such as:
The usual treatment for Cherry Eye in dogs is surgery on the third eyelid because the gland produces about half of your dogs tear film.
Without this, your dog can move into the dry eye, which impairs a dogs vision over time.
Most dogs recover from Cherry Eye surgery within a few weeks.
3. Corneal Damage
Anything that damages a dogs cornea can cause red eyes due to irritation. For example, if a dogs eye gets poked with some weed or scratched by a persnickety cat.
4. Dry Eyes
If its dry eyes, thats causing redness.
Read Also: Marijuana And Type 1 Diabetes
Whats The Connection Between Diabetes And Dry Eyes
When your blood sugar is high, it can cause nerve damage in your eyes which, in turn, can lead to decreased tear production.
Additionally, high blood sugar can cause inflammation throughout your body. This inflammation makes it harder for your lacrimal glands the glands in your eyes that produce tears to function.
Over time, if left untreated, dry eye may lead to:
- corneal scarring
Fortunately, managing your blood sugar and keeping it within a healthy range can lower your risk of dry eye syndrome.
Eye drops and other treatments can also help relieve dry eye symptoms and prevent complications while you work with a healthcare professional to manage your diabetes.
Yellow Reddish Or Brown Patches On Your Skin
This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown.
You may also notice:
- The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance
- You can see blood vessels
- The skin is itchy and painful
- The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again
- Get tested for diabetes, if you have not been diagnosed.
- Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.
- See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications.
Also Check: How To Turn Off Insulin Pump
What Other Problems Can Diabetic Retinopathy Cause
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to other serious eye conditions:
- Diabetic macular edema . Over time, about 1 in 15 people with diabetes will develop DME. DME happens when blood vessels in the retina leak fluid into the macula . This causes blurry vision.
- Neovascular glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy can cause abnormal blood vessels to grow out of the retina and block fluid from draining out of the eye. This causes a type of glaucoma .
What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar due to diabetes. Over time, having too much sugar in your blood can damage your retina the part of your eye that detects light and sends signals to your brain through a nerve in the back of your eye .
Diabetes damages blood vessels all over the body. The damage to your eyes starts when sugar blocks the tiny blood vessels that go to your retina, causing them to leak fluid or bleed. To make up for these blocked blood vessels, your eyes then grow new blood vessels that dont work well. These new blood vessels can leak or bleed easily.
Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Blood Sugar Spikes
Causes & Risk Factors
Diabetic retinopathy results from the damage diabetes causes to the small blood vessels located in the retina. These damaged blood vessels can cause vision loss:
- Fluid can leak into the macula, the area of the retina responsible for clear central vision. Although small, the macula is the part of the retina that allows us to see colors and fine detail. The fluid causes the macula to swell, resulting in blurred vision.
- In an attempt to improve blood circulation in the retina, new blood vessels may form on its surface. These fragile, abnormal blood vessels can leak blood into the back of the eye and block vision.
Diabetic retinopathy is classified into two types.
Symptoms Of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy causes blood vessel damage in the retina. Left untreated, it can cause vision loss and can develop into DME.
- Faded, washed out appearance of colors
- Blank or dark areas in your field of vision
Diabetic macular edema is a build-up of fluid in the center of the retina, or the macula. This part of the eye is responsible for sharp vision and most of our color vision. Symptoms can include:
- Blurry or wavy vision in the center of your field of vision
- Noticing colors appear faded or washed out
Both forms of diabetic eye disease are treatable. Types of treatment and effectiveness depend on the severity of the condition.
At UT Southwestern, we take a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat diabetic eye disease. If we detect diabetes-related eye symptoms and you have been diagnosed with diabetes, we can recommend that you follow up with your endocrinologist or primary care doctor.
If we see signs of eye damage but you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, we can refer you to a diabetes expert at UT Southwestern. The ophthalmology team works closely with our endocrinology doctors and nurses to make sure you have the treatment and information you need to reduce your risks.
Also Check: How To Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable
For Women Considering Pregnancy Or Currently Pregnant
For women with diabetes considering pregnancy, a dilated eye exam should be performed to identify any existing signs of retinopathy because the stress and pressure of pregnancy and childbirth are known to worsen existing retinopathy.
This doesnt mean women with retinopathy shouldnt pursue pregnancy, but it does mean they will need to visit their eye doctor regularly during their pregnancy and perhaps avoid a vaginal birth because of the extreme pressure it puts on the blood vessels in the eyes.
If your pregnancy is a surprise, its still important to schedule with your eye doctor immediately upon learning youre pregnant to assess your current eye health.
Outbreak Of Small Reddish
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though.
These bumps appear suddenly and clear promptly when diabetes is well-controlled.
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though. No matter where they form, they are usually tender and itchy. The medical name for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis.
- Tell your doctor about the bumps because this skin condition appears when you have uncontrolled diabetes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes.
Diabetic Macular Edema Signs & Symptoms
Like retinopathy, diabetic macular edema is most easily detected during your annual eye exam. Issues with your vision, however, can be a sign of DME, but waiting until there are obvious symptoms will only reduce your chances of successfully treating it and preventing its progression. Regular eye exams are a must when it comes to stopping DME in its tracks.
What Are The Four Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that attacks people with diabetes. It happens when the blood sugar levels are so high that they lead to blood vessel damage in the retina. As a result, you experience vision problems. People with diabetes lose their vision because of this eye disease.
Early symptoms may include blurriness, floaters, inability to perceive colors well, or floaters in your field of vision. Blindness can also occur at the advanced stages. Diabetic retinopathy has four different stages. People with diabetes can go through all.
You May Like: Why Does Diabetes Cause Weight Loss
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy
The early stages of diabetic retinopathy usually dont have any symptoms. Some people notice changes in their vision, like trouble reading or seeing faraway objects. These changes may come and go.
In later stages of the disease, blood vessels in the retina start to bleed into the vitreous . If this happens, you may see dark, floating spots or streaks that look like cobwebs. Sometimes, the spots clear up on their own but its important to get treatment right away. Without treatment, scars can form in the back of the eye. Blood vessels may also start to bleed again, or the bleeding may get worse.
Who Is More Likely To Develop Diabetic Eye Problems
Anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease. But your risk of developing it is higher if you:
- Have had diabetes for a long time
- Don’t have good control over your high blood sugar or high blood pressure
Talk with your doctor if you have these symptoms, even if they come and go:
- Spots or dark wavy strings floating in your vision
- Blurry or wavy vision
- Vision that changes a lot
- Trouble seeing colors
Recommended Reading: Can Type 1 Diabetics Take Tylenol
Treatment Options For Diabetic Eye Disease
Your provider will work with you to develop an optimal treatment plan. Two of the most common strategies to manage diabetic eye disease include controlling your diabetes and medical management.
Control your diabetes
We typically recommend three key steps to control your diabetes:
During regular office visits, your ophthalmologist can administer medications directly into the eye. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy is a commonly used medication treatment to reduce retinal swelling and inhibit blood vessel growth in the retina.
Another option is corticosteroid medication, which can reduce inflammation caused by diabetic retinopathy.
To find out whether you or a loved one might benefit from a check-up with an ophthalmologist, call or request an appointment online.
When Is The Best Time To Schedule A Diabetic Eye Exam
Schedule a diabetic eye exam as soon as you notice vision problems. If youve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, the wisest move is to schedule an eye exam regularly so as to catch anything before it becomes a problem. Vision issues can be hard to detect due to the fact that eye strain is something thats commonly experienced by many people regardless of their health status.
Diabetes is increasingly common, though great strides have been made both in preventive care and in the treatment of diabetes. If you think you may be experiencing complications due to diabetes, or if youd like to schedule an appointment to learn more about what you can do to protect your sight, .
You May Like: Normal Blood Sugar For Gestational Diabetes
Am I At Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy
Anyone with any kind of diabetes can get diabetic retinopathy including people with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes .
Your risk increases the longer you have diabetes. Over time, more than half of people with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that you can lower your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by controlling your diabetes.
Women with diabetes who become pregnant or women who develop gestational diabetes are at high risk for getting diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes and are pregnant, have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible. Ask your doctor if youll need additional eye exams during your pregnancy.
Eyes Complications In Diabetes
- For one thing, diabetes can cause blindness in a person. Diabetes may also lead to eye disease. Several factors surround the development of diabetic eye disease, which includes blood sugar and blood pressure levels as well as congenital reasons. Maintaining the normal levels of the blood and sugar absorbed by it will help you reduce the chances of having bloodshot eyes in diabetes and other eye risks.
- Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to be ready for its symptoms and complications. These complications rooted from diabetes sometimes do not give warning signs of a developing disease. Before you know it, you have been inflicted with it. Hence, be sure to be aware of symptoms such as blurry vision, double vision, blank spots, flashing lights, dark spots, and pain and pressure in the eye area.
- To be able to cope with bloodshot eyes diabetes and other eye diseases associated with diabetes, it is necessary to have annual eye exams. Regular eye exams are important to detect the early signs of complications in the eyes.
- Patients with diabetes have high chances of developing glaucoma. Diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from glaucoma than normal individuals.
- Cataracts can also happen to diabetics. Diabetic people normally tend to contract cataracts at an early age and would progress faster.
Short Term Complications of Diabetes
Long Term Complications of Diabetes
- Heart disease and stroke.
Recommended Reading: High Glucose In Blood Test
What Are The Symptoms
Most of the time, there are no symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until it starts to change your vision. When this happens, diabetic retinopathy is already severe. Having your eyes checked regularly can find diabetic retinopathy early enough to treat it and help prevent vision loss.
If you notice problems with your vision, call an eye doctor right away. Changes in vision can be a sign of severe damage to your eye. These changes can include floaters, pain in the eye, blurry vision, or new vision loss.