Friday, April 12, 2024

Vision Loss In One Eye Diabetes

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

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The primary care provider, nurse practitioner, and internist may encounter patients with TLV. However, because this symptom may be a harbinger of a stroke, it is vital to refer these patients ASAP to the neurologist and ophthalmologist. Another cause that may lead to blindness is giant cell arteritis. The outlook for patients with TLV depends on the cause. An interprofessional team approach involving nurses and clinicians will provide the best patient outcome.

How Can Diabetes Affect Your Eyes

Diabetes occurs when your body does not properly process food as energy. When you have diabetes, your body either does not respond to or does not produce insulin, which is a hormone that delivers glucose to the cells in your body. Having too much glucose in the bloodstream, outside the cells where it belongs, can lead to damage of the blood vessels and nerves that run throughout your body, including to the eyes.

Whats The Treatment For Diabetic Retinopathy And Dme

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your eye doctor will probably just keep track of how your eyes are doing. Some people with diabetic retinopathy may need a comprehensive dilated eye exam as often as every 2 to 4 months.

In later stages, its important to start treatment right away especially if you have changes in your vision. While it wont undo any damage to your vision, treatment can stop your vision from getting worse. Its also important to take steps to control your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Injections. Medicines called anti-VEGF drugs can slow down or reverse diabetic retinopathy. Other medicines, called corticosteroids, can also help.

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Diabetes & The Eyes Resources

These resources are designed to support individuals living with diabetes and help them gain access to eye care that they require to maintain healthy vision. The resources describe common barriers to eye care, ways to navigate the healthcare system, the intricacies of health insurance and eye care, and an overview of eye care assistance resources.

Do You Suffer From Blurry Vision

We could be doing more to prevent vision loss for people with diabetes ...

Blurred or out of focus vision or any rapid changes to your vision can be an early sign of diabetes. Surprisingly, your diabetes related blurry vision could be caused by any of these factors:

  • Hyperglycemia – High blood sugar levels can cause fluid shifts and swelling of your eyes which moves the lens closer to or away from the retina, causing blurred vision.
  • HypoglycemiaLow blood sugar levels cause changes in your brain, preventing your ability to focus.
  • Rising and falling blood sugar levels. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause fluctuating vision as your eye changes in size and distance from lens to retina.
  • Your body adjusting to a new insulin or a new dosage of insulin. New insulin levels or new medications may cause shrinking and swelling leading to vision changes.

If the underlying causes are identified and addressed, these vision changes are relatively short term and temporary. However, uncontrolled diabetes or chronic hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can lead to permanent damage to your vision.

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Do I Need To Follow Up With My Doctor After Being Diagnosed With Diabetic Eye Disease

If you or someone you know has diabetes and mild diabetic eye disease, follow-up examinations with an ophthalmologist every year may be all that is necessary.

If the person has a more serious disease, more frequent follow-up appointments with an ophthalmologist are required based on the severity of the disease.

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What You Need To Know About Diabetes And Blurry Vision

Modified: May 13, 2021 by TheDiabetesCouncil Team · This post may contain affiliate links ·

An estimated one third of people who suffer from diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. Very often, a visit to the eye doctor for unexplained blurry vision or sudden eye problems serves as the mechanism through which diabetes is diagnosed.


  • Take Control Of Your Type 2 Diabetes And Protect Your Vision
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    How Glaucoma And Cataract Occurs

    To compensate for the loss of blood flow to the retina, new blood vessels may start to grow. These weaker vessels can easily rupture and bleed into the middle part of the eye. This not only causes scarring but increases the pressure within the eye to dangerously high levels.

    High intraocular eye pressure is one of the key contributing factors to the development of glaucoma.

    High blood sugar can also cause structural changes to the lens of the eye as deposits start to accumulate. This can accelerate the progression of cataracts in people with diabetes.

    People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma or cataracts as someone without diabetes.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes

    Vision Loss and Diabetic Retinopathy

    In the early stages, most people experience no signs of diabetes-related retinopathy. You may not experience vision changes until the condition is severe. For some people, symptoms come and go.

    Symptoms of diabetes-related retinopathy include:

    • Blurred or distorted vision.
    • Poor night vision .
    • Small dark spots or streaks in your vision.
    • Trouble reading or seeing faraway objects.

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    How To Treat Diabetic Eye Diseases

    The main treatment for diabetic eye diseases is the tight control of your blood sugar levels. Early on, all that may be needed are frequent eye exams to check the status of your vision. Efforts would also be made to manage your diabetes with medications, diet, and exercise.

    You would also need to control your blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which contribute to diabetic eye diseases. Cigarettes should be stopped as tobacco smoke causes blood vessels to further narrow, increasing the risk of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema.

    Additional treatments may be prescribed if you sustain vision loss or are at risk of disease progression. These may involve:

    Cataract surgery

    Keep On Top Of Your Cholesterol And Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure and a lot of fat in your blood will increase your chances of getting eye problems. This is because your blood vessels can get damaged or blocked, so the blood cant move around your eye properly.

    We have advice and information to help you manage your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your healthcare team will also be able to support you with this.

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    Complications Of Diabetic Retinopathy

    Diabetic retinopathy complications can result in serious vision problems, including:

    Vitreous haemorrhage: It occurs when new blood vessels start to bleed into the vitreous fluid. When this complication is minor, you may see floaters. However, in severe haemorrhage, blood fills the vitreous cavity and temporarily blocks the vision completely. This complication takes a few weeks or months to clear unless the retina is damaged.

    Glaucoma: Diabetic retinopathy causes new blood vessels to grow in the front of the eye as well. This results in a buildup of eye pressure and interference with the normal fluid flow. Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and can lead to permanent blindness.

    Retinal detachment: When damaged blood vessels pull the retina away from the support tissue, retinal detachment occurs. In this condition, you may observe floaters and flashes of light initially and then complete obscuration of vision.

    How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed

    Coping With Vision Loss From Diabetic Macular Edema

    An eye doctor can diagnose diabetic retinopathy during a simple exam.

    • Visual acuity: Acuity refers to how clearly you can see.
    • Intraocular pressure to make sure there are no signs of glaucoma.
    • Eye muscle function: Muscle function refers to how well you can move your eyes.
    • Peripheral vision: Peripheral vision is seeing from the sides of your eyes.
    • Pupil response: This assessment looks at how your pupils react to light.

    Then, your eye doctor will put drops into your eyes. The drops dilate your pupils .

    During this exam, the doctor looks for:

    • Abnormal blood vessels.
    • Visual acuity.
    • HgbA1c.

    In the early stages of the disease, your healthcare provider may use a wait-and-see approach especially in the setting of good vision. During this phase, you have regular eye exams but donât need further treatment. Some people need eye exams every two to four months.

    Other treatment options include:

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    Diabetic Eye Disease: How To Spot The Signs Early

    About 30.3 million adults in the U.S. havediabetes, according to the Centers for DiseaseControl , and 90% of them have Type 2 diabetes their bodies don’thandle insulin well and can’t maintain normal blood sugar levels.

    What’s more, as many as one in fourworking-age adults have Type 2diabetes, but they don’t know it. So, you can imagine their surprise when theysee me, an ophthalmologist, for blurred vision or eye floaters, and we handthem a referral to get checked for diabetes.

    Patients with Type 2 diabetes are at increasedrisk for diabetic eye disease, agroup of diabetes-related eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy anddiabetic macular edema . Approximately one third of my working-agepatients have diabetic eye damage, and diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause ofblindness in this age group.

    Left untreated, diabetic eye diseases cancause permanent vision damage and even blindness.

    It’s important to know the symptoms even ifyou haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy

    The early stages of diabetic retinopathy usually dont have any symptoms. Some people notice changes in their vision, like trouble reading or seeing faraway objects. These changes may come and go.

    In later stages of the disease, blood vessels in the retina start to bleed into the vitreous . If this happens, you may see dark, floating spots or streaks that look like cobwebs. Sometimes, the spots clear up on their own but its important to get treatment right away. Without treatment, scars can form in the back of the eye. Blood vessels may also start to bleed again, or the bleeding may get worse.

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    Diabetes & The Eyes Educational Toolkit

    The Diabetes & the Eyes Educational Toolkit offers educational materials on diabetes and the impact of diabetes on eye health in both English and Spanish. These educational resources are intended for healthcare professionals, community health educators, diabetes educators, and anyone in a caregiving or diabetes education role.

    How Diabetes Affects The Eyes

    Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

    Having too much sugar in your blood can damage the blood vessels in the part of the eye called the retina. The retina is the tissue lining the back of the eye.

    High sugar levels cause the blood vessels to swell and leak into the retina and cause blurred vision or blind spots. If left untreated, new blood vessels may grow and cause further damage to your vision.

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    When Should I See A Doctor Right Away

    Call a doctor right away if you notice sudden changes to your vision, including flashes of light or many more spots than usual. You also should see a doctor right away if it looks like a curtain is pulled over your eyes. These changes in your sight can be symptoms of a detached retina, which is a medical emergency.

    What You Should Expect From An Eye Exam

    Your ophthalmologist will first check for any changes to your glasses or contact lens prescription. People with many diabetes related problems with their vision can still wear contact lenses.

    The doctor will then dilate your pupils and examine the retina. The drops used may sting for a short time. About 20 to 30 minutes later, your eyes will be fully dilated. With the use of special lenses and lights, the doctor will visually examine your retina.

    To detect retinopathy, the doctor looks at all the retinal tissues. For signs of macular edema, the doctor looks at the macula in the back of your eye, but this may not be enough for a diagnosis. Your doctor may perform an optical coherence tomography, which is a laser exam of the back of the eye. While the retina is very thin, the test can measure retinal thickening as small as a thousandth of a millimeter.

    A fluorescein angiogram is a test that can detect diabetic retinopathy. During the test, a dye is injected into your arm. Within 45 seconds, the dye reaches the back of the eye. Just like how blood leaks from weak blood vessels, so does the dye. Special photographs help document the results.

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    How Will My Eye Doctor Check For Diabetic Retinopathy

    Eye doctors can check for diabetic retinopathy as part of a dilated eye exam. The exam is simple and painless your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate your pupil and then check your eyes for diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems.

    If you have diabetes, its very important to get regular eye exams. If you do develop diabetic retinopathy, early treatment can stop the damage and prevent blindness.

    If your eye doctor thinks you may have severe diabetic retinopathy or DME, they may do a test called a fluorescein angiogram. This test lets the doctor see pictures of the blood vessels in your retina.

    Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels

    People with diabetes are at risk for vision loss. But with these 11 eye ...

    Blood sugar levels that fluctuate throughout the day or from time to time, can cause occasional blurry vision.

    It is highly recommended to speak with your doctor about ways to regulate your blood sugar levels, as a constant fluctuation can cause many uncomfortable symptoms and can be harmful to your body.

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    What The Future Holds

    Scientists are studying better ways to find, treat and prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.

    The longer you’ve had diabetes, the more likely you are to have retinopathyits a common problem. But if you keep your blood sugar at your target levels, you may delay or even prevent it. Often you wont have symptoms until youve developed the problem, so get regular eye exams. These new tests and treatments will help address problems early.

    It’s Easy To Take Your Eyesight For Granted

    Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss in people 1864 years old. And there are no obvious signs or symptoms. But the great news is an annual routine eye exam could prevent 95% of vision loss caused by diabetes.

    Focus on Diabetes is a multi-year initiative that brings together the American Diabetes Association and Visionary Partners from leading organizations in vision care to increase awareness about diabetes and eye health.

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    Regular Eye Exams Are Key

    People with diabetes need to have a full eye exam at least every year by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in eye disease. This is true even if you otherwise have 20/20 vision. Your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate, or widen, your pupils, so that they can look inside your eyes to check them for diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems.

    If youâve just been diagnosed with diabetes, you need an eye exam right away to make sure your eyes are OK. After that, they should have an eye exam every year — more frequently if they have diabetes-related eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy.

    There are also other times in your life when you may need a full eye exam. Women with diabetes who are pregnant, for example, need an eye exam during every trimester, since changes in blood pressure and fluid retention may cause their diabetes to worsen.

    Interestingly enough, you also need to get your eyes checked once you get your diabetes under good control. For some reason, that shift can cause some worsening of diabetic eye disease in certain patients. We donât know why, other than your body has gotten used to things being a hot mess and your eyes donât know how to cope with this sudden change.

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    How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

    60 Seconds on Diabetic Retinopathy

    There are several different ways that diabetes can cause eye complications. All of the following diseases can cause severe vision loss and even blindness.

    Your vision is just one reason that regular blood tests should be performed and blood sugar levels need to be checked. Its also vital that annual eye appointments be made to track vision for any complications.

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    Signs Of Hearing Loss

    Hearing loss can happen slowly, so it can be hard to notice. Often, friends and family members will notice your hearing loss before you do.

    Signs of hearing loss include:

    • Often asking others to repeat themselves.
    • Trouble following conversations with more than one person.
    • Thinking that others are mumbling.
    • Problems hearing in noisy places, such as busy restaurants.
    • Trouble hearing the voices of small children and others with quiet voices.
    • Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby.

    Problems with your inner ear may also affect your balance.

    How Do I Know If I Have Blurry Vision

    Blurry vision is one of the earliest symptoms of diabetes.

    Blurry vision is typically defined as the inability to see images or details of images clearly when your vision lacks sharpness. This can be compared to viewing a picture that contains objects or images out of focus.

    Blurry vision can be unilateral, affecting only one eye, or bilateral, affecting both eyes. You may also notice that your vision is either always blurry, sometimes burry, or only blurry on occasion.

    Diabetes-related blurry vision may occur for a variety of reasons:

    • High blood sugar levels
    • Low blood sugar levels
    • Fluctuating blood sugar levels

    In some cases, blurry vision may be experienced if you are adapting to a new dosage of insulin medication.

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    Facts About Vision Loss Due To Diabetes

    Diabetes is a common cause of vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. In fact, diabetics are 40% more likely to have glaucoma, and 60% more likely to have cataracts, per the American Diabetes Association. If left unchecked, vision loss due to diabetes is irreversible. The National Eye Institute , however, states that early detection and treatment can reduce ones risk of blindness by 95%. Here are seven facts about diabetes-related vision loss:

  • Diabetes Damages the Retina
  • When light passes through the eye, it hits a layer of tissue called the retina. Cells here are sensitive to light and pass it on to the optic nerve. The retina has small blood vessels that can be damaged by chronically high blood sugar levels or high blood pressure. Diabetic retinopathy is when these vessels start to leak, or hemorrhage, distorting ones vision.

    There are four stages of this condition:

    There are usually no symptoms during the early stages of diabetic retinopathy and is one of the most common causes of diabetes sight loss.

  • Diabetes Causes Blurry Vision
  • Diabetic macular edema is a build-up of fluid in the macula, a part of the eye responsible for seeing straight ahead. It occurs in half of people with diabetic retinopathy, at any stage of the condition, according to the NEIs Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease. Blurred vision is the primary symptom.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy and DME Can Be Easily Detected
  • Diabetic Retinopathy Is Treatable
  • To treat DME, therapies include:

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