Eye Care for Patients with Diabetes
One complication of diabetes mellitus is eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease connected to diabetes and is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It occurs in patients with complications of diabetes and is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In order to receive proper eye care, the patient and ophthalmologist must first determine what type of diabetic retinopathy is present. The two types of diabetic retinopathy are:
- Macular Edema – blood vessels may swell and leak fluid
- Proliferative Retinopathy – abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina
To prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy, the patient should receive proper eye care and control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The patient should also have an eye examination at least once a year by an ophthalmologist.
Ophthalmologist Thomas Marvelli offers quality eye care for patients with diabetes at all three of his office locations in Hurst, Mansfield and Ft. Worth, Texas.
Treatment for Diabetes Related Eye Disease
Proliferative retinopathy is usually treated with simple laser surgery. However the patient may need eye injections or another form of surgery depending upon the severity and type of diabetes.
Macular edema can be treated with laser eye surgery. This procedure is called focal laser treatment. A patient with diabetes may need focal laser surgery more than once to control the leaking fluid associated with this eye disease. If you have a lot of blood in the center of the eye (vitreous gel), you may need a vitrectomy to restore your sight. If you need vitrectomies in both eyes, they are usually done several weeks apart.
A vitrectomy is performed under either local or general anesthesia. A tiny incision is made in your eye. Next, a small instrument is used to remove the vitreous gel that is clouded with blood. The ophthalmologist replaces the vitreous gel with a salt solution.
What is experienced during procedures?
Patients should not experience severe pain or discomfort during these procedures.