Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

By Kirk Jones, M.D. - Vision Center South

While most people are aware of what diabetes is, they may not realize that it impacts more than 34 million Americans every year, and how it can cause people to lose their vision.  At Vision Center South, we want to make sure you understand the importance of regular diabetic eye care.

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, so there is no better time to have this discussion. When a person’s blood sugar levels are abnormally high, it can change the fluid levels in your eyes, causing temporary blurred vision. This blurriness can clear when blood sugar levels return to normal, but over time, more serious damage can occur.

That damage is likely if a person’s blood sugar levels rise to high levels consistently. This can cause blood vessels in your eye to become damaged, leading to bleeding, swelling, scarring, and permanently high eye pressure. It can cause eye conditions including:

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Diabetic Retinopathy

With this condition, the retina is damaged, which can decrease the retina’s ability to see. If untreated, this can lead to vision loss or even total blindness.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Retinal swelling can affect the retina’s central macular area. This can decrease the clarity of your vision and can also lead to loss of reading and driving vision.

Glaucoma and Cataracts

Chances are, you are familiar with the two most common types of eye disease, both of which do not have to be tied to diabetes. But diabetes can exacerbate the pressure in your eyes, which can double the chances of suffering from glaucoma.

A cataract is when the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy. This is a common issue as we age, whether or not diabetes is present. While cataracts can be treated with surgery, diabetes can cause cataracts to form earlier in life.

Fortunately, those with diabetes can improve their chances of avoiding any of the severe eye conditions listed above by making an annual eye appointment. If a potential issue is found, there is a variety of treatments that can be utilized, from laser treatments to common outpatient surgical procedures. Often, diabetic eye disease can reach an advanced and dangerous stage without any obvious visual warning signs, so getting an eye checkup is critical.

Contact Vision Center South to set up your eye appointment by calling 334-793-2633.

Kirk Jones
Author: Kirk Jones

Dr. Kirk Jones is a native of Auburn, Alabama and earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University in chemistry in 2005 and his Doctorate of Optometry from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2010. Dr. Jones is a member of American Optometric Association and the Alabama Optometric Association. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Brittan, his son Henry and daughter Charlotte, and being with friends and family.

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Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

by Kirk Jones time to read: 3 min