Diabetes Complications

St. Petersburg Eye Doctor Serving Pinellas County

Eye Conditions: Understanding Diabetic Eye Exams

There are a lot of health problems completely unrelated to your eyes that can serve as risk factors or even exacerbate serious eye conditions. As such, it’s important that you be as open and honest as possible when discussing your medical history with our eye doctor. Don’t tell yourself that a condition or problem is irrelevant- trust Dr. Ryczek to know what matters and what does not.

One particularly important example of this dynamic is diabetes. Again, it might not seem intuitive, but diabetes can have a significant negative impact on your vision. If you’re suffering from diabetes, you should keep two things in mind. First, it’s important to disclose that to Dr. Ryczek. Second, regular eye exams are exceptionally important for you.

If you live in the St. Petersburg, Florida area and you want to talk to our eye doctor about arranging regularly scheduled examinations and treatments, please call Ryczek Eye Associates today at 727-327-8855 for a consultation.

The Relationship Between Diabetes and Your Eyes

As you probably know, diabetes is a condition in which your body’s production of glucose (sugar, basically) grows out of control. In type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the condition, your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to regulate your blood sugar level.

But what does this have to do with your eyes? And how can diabetes hurt your vision? Remember- your body is a complex, inter-connected systems. Health problems don’t stay isolated in one part of your body- instead, they can cascade through your body and affect seemingly unrelated systems.

Diabetes is no exception. Many vision problems are a result of issues related to the blood that flows in and around your eyes. The increased blood sugar levels that come with diabetes can cause a range of vision problems. With diabetes, you are greater risk of:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma

However, there’s another condition you have to be aware of: diabetic retinopathy, which is a broad term for all disorders of the retina caused by diabetes. You’ll remember that the retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. It converts light signals into impulses that travel to your brain, where they are converted into actual images.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in your retina are damaged, usually as a result of poorly controlled blood sugar. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Symptoms include:

  • Floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty perceiving colors

However, these symptoms can be very mild in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, and it can be easy to dismiss them as meaningless. Don’t do this.

If caught early, while still mild, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with simple diabetes management. In the later stages, laser surgery might be required.

Here’s the takeaway, and it’s the point we emphasized earlier: if you have diabetes, don’t put off your eye exams. If you have diabetes, you are at risk of suffering from vision problems, and these problems, if left untreated, can rob you of your sight. Don’t less this happen to you.

At Ryczek Eye Associates, our eye doctor will provide you with advice on how to keep your vision clear and work with your primary care physician to ensure you are being properly treated and have your diabetes well managed.

To find out more about how our diabetic eye exams can help you, call 727-327-8855 today to schedule an appointment with our experienced St. Petersburg eye doctor.