Should You Be Concerned about Diabetic Macular Edema?
Did you know that diabetes can result in potential complications that could damage your vision? If a doctor has diagnosed you with diabetes or pre-diabetes, then it is essential that you look at treatment options for blood sugar management. Controlling your diabetes can help you avoid health problems, such as diabetic macular edema.
Diabetic Macular Edema: What is it?
When you have high blood sugar levels, it can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to be weakened. As a result, the blood vessels can start to grow out of control or leak in the retinal area of the eye. This part of the eye is the light-sensitive place where images are captured to send to the brain.
If fluid increases in the retina, it is known as diabetic macular edema. As the fluid levels go up, it increases the size and causes problems with the function of the macula.
Watch for these Symptoms
It is important to know that diabetic macular edema doesn’t always result in noticeable symptoms. Even if your vision seems fine, you still need to maintain regular appointments with an experienced eye doctor. These exams are crucial to detect high pressure in the eye in the early stages. Then, your optometrist can provide treatment recommendations to slow the progress of the disease so that you can protect your vision.
When symptoms are present, people usually experience one or two changes in their vision:
- Images that are directly in front of you look wavy or blurry
- Colors have a “washed out” appearance
Have you noticed either of these symptoms? Then it is essential that you schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. During the exam, your doctor will dilate your eyes, which means that drops will be used to make the pupils larger. Then, the eye doctor will be able to look inside your eyes to see if there is any indication of leaking blood vessels or swelling within the retina.
Treatment for This Eye Disease
Immediate treatment is necessary to prevent vision loss. Treatment should be two-fold. First, you need to look at options to improve your blood sugar management. If you aren’t controlling your blood sugar, then you might continue experiencing problems with your eyes.
Next, it is important to look at eye treatments to stop the leaking. There are different types of drugs that can be used, often in the form of injectable medications.
When the damage is severe, laser photocoagulation can be used to seal the blood vessels that are leaking. Or, a vitrectomy might be suggested to take out the fluid that is causing your vision to be clouded, and replace it with a clear fluid instead.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our team. This exam is essential to detect early signs of diabetic macular edema. Contact us at Village Eyecare to work with a group of experienced eye doctors who are focused on your visual health. We offer four optometry offices in Chicago, making it easy for you to visit with an eyecare professional.