6. August 2012 19:32
Diabetes Mellitus is one of the more common conditions seen in an eye physicians office. I'm sure we see at least 4 or 5 diabetic patients each day, and sometimes 8 or 9. It is amazing how prevalent diabetes is in the United States. Over the years, the blood sugar norm has been lowered and typically anything over 100 may require more attention to determine if a patient is developing diabetes.
Diabetics are more prone for cataract and glaucoma. Depending on the study, there is approximately twice the risk for developing glaucoma and cataract in a patient with diabetes vs. the general population. Fortunately, early detection of each of these conditions allows the physician to treat appropriately typically with a good outcome or stabilizing the situation.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a more significant condition which requires early diagnosis. This condition can result in leaking blood vessels in the retina which can permanently decrease vision. There are multiple treatments for diabetic retinopathy which can be utilized when the condition is severe enough to require treatment. Early detection is the key so the severity can be followed and treated when treatment is required.
As we have discussed, diabetes is a common condition. Many of these patients develop eye problems, but the outcome can be very good when diagnosed early. The Diabetic Society recommends a yearly dilated eye exam for diabetics. If you are diabetic, mark your calendar and plan on a yearly visit to your eye care professional to maintain your good vision.
Remember, protect those eyes!!