Diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the world, with over 347 million people living with the disease. According to the World Health Organization, it occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Over time, Diabetes can lead to serious damage of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. This damage can affect parts of the body, including the eyes and lead to additional eye care.
One of the most common eye diseases associated with Diabetes is Diabetic Retinopathy, which affects 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older. Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition where blood vessels in the retina become damaged due to high blood sugar levels. This damage creates leakage from the blood vessels and poor blood flow. In some cases, bleeding within the eye and even retinal detachment can occur from abnormal blood vessel growth.
When diabetic eye disease advances to these stages, laser treatment is necessary to prevent further damage. This laser treatment does not restore vision but can prevent future loss of vision if blood pressure is controlled.
If you are diagnosed with Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend yearly eye examinations for early detection. The East West Eye Institute has many eye care specialists that can make the proper assessment of your eye care needs.
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