Diabetes and Eye Health: What to Know | McFarland Clinic


Diabetes affects the retinal blood vessels. So it can make the blood vessels leaky, or
it can even close off the blood vessels. When those blood vessels become leaky, then
edema occurs in the retina. It can really decrease your central vision. You have fluid in the retina that’s not supposed
to be there, and it feels like you’re looking through water because you are. If we can see diabetic patients before they
have significant retinal damage, we can prevent visual loss in 95 percent of people. So it’s in the patient’s best interest to
come and have their eyes examined so that we can treat them and treat them before they
really get serious problems with their eyes. We have three treatments for diabetic retinopathy. The first one is laser; there are a couple
different kinds of laser that we can use. The second is we can inject a medicine directly
in the eye which really helps treat diabetic macular edema and new blood vessels due to
diabetes. The third thing is, if we have to, a patient
could have a vitrectomy–or a surgical removal of the blood in the vitreous if they have
advanced diabetic retinopathy, but most patients never need that retinal surgery for diabetes. If we can, I try to do an injection or a laser
treatment on the same day that we diagnose the problem. That may make for a little bit longer waiting
time, but if we can see them, diagnose them, and treat them in the same day, it’s a little
easier for them to go back to their homes and then know they don’t need to see me for
several months.

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