People suffering from diabetes can suffer from a cluster of conditions that comprise diabetic eye disease. These include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic muscular edema (DME).
These conditions are all treatable but should also be taken seriously. They all have the potential to cause loss of vision, pain, and blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy and DME are related – the latter is the consequence of the former. Diabetic retinopathy represents a swelling of the blood vessels in the retina. When these blood vessels swell, they can bleed, which distorts vision. In the worst-case scenario, this condition can lead to retinal detachment and permanent vision loss. Meanwhile, DME affects the portion of the retina that allows people to see straight ahead.
Meanwhile, Glaucoma is a medical condition that is linked to a buildup of intraocular pressure, which damages the optic nerve over time. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness. Although this condition is often inherited, it can be caused by diabetes.
Finally, cataracts are formed by protein building up on the lens of the eye. Although this condition is usually age-related, it can occur in diabetics as well.
All of the conditions above are treatable and are usually harmless if caught early. At Erie Eye Clinic, we regularly screen and treat our patients for these conditions. Contact us today and get an eye exam!