The Importance of Scheduling Annual, Eye Exams
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The Importance of Scheduling Annual, Eye Exams

A few years ago, my dear maternal grandmother visited an optometrist. After thoroughly examining my grandmother’s eyes, this medical professional informed her that she had cataracts in both of them. Concerned, my grandmother immediately made an appointment with a surgeon. The two surgeries to remove the cataracts from my grandmother’s eyes were successful. Scheduling annual eye exams is crucial. During these appointments, your optometrist will check for potentially harmful conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most important reasons you should visit your eye doctor every year. Enjoy!


The Importance of Scheduling Annual, Eye Exams

Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy May Save Your Vision

Stella Harvey

Diabetic retinopathy is a dangerous eye disease secondary to diabetes. It will come on slowly, with few symptoms, but can result in a partial or total loss of vision. While not curable, the impact of this disease on your vision can be slowed down by starting treatment early. Here is how this eye disease can affect your vision and what can be done to slow down its progress.

Blood Vessels are Affected by Diabetes

Your diabetes affects blood vessels throughout your body. Diabetic retinopathy is the result of these affects on the blood vessels in your eyes. This eye disease comes in two forms:

Nonproliferative retinopathy - Blood vessels on the back of the eye become weak and start to leak fluid out onto the surface of the retina. As the fluid accumulates, it blocks out the amount of light reaching the retina. It also increases the pressure in the eye and on the retina. Objects begin to look blurry, and you'll need more light to read. Eventually, gray shadows appear across your vision, followed by dark patches as the disease progresses.

Proliferative retinopathy - In later stages of diabetic retinopathy, new fragile blood vessels develop on the back of the eye. These produce scar tissue which accumulates on the retina. The scar tissue pulls on the retina which can cause it to detach from the eye. When this happens, you'll have a partial or total loss of vision.

Treating Diabetic Retinopathy

Eye doctors, such as Webster Eye Care, can detect these weak blood vessels during a routine diabetic eye exam. Once discovered, treatment can be started to prevent further loss of vision and damage to the retina. Unfortunately, any current loss of vision can't be restored, but further damage to your eyesight can be slowed down by treatment. The sooner this disease is diagnosed and treated, the less likely this disease will cause a major loss of vision.

Current treatment options include:

  • Medication - Injections of a medication directly into the eye can reduce the growth of the weak blood vessels that cause scar tissue and subsequent damage to the retina. You will need periodic injections to prevent future damage.
  • Surgical reduction of pressure in the eye - Tiny channels are created in the eyeball to allow the gel-like fluid inside to escape and reduce the pressure within the eye. This removes the pressure on the retina and any vision issues that are caused by it.
  • Laser surgery - A tiny laser beam is projected into the eye and on the surface where fluid has leaked. Some of the fluid can be dried up this way, increasing the amount of light that hits the retina and improving your vision.