If diagnosed early, treatment goes a long way in preserving good vision throughout your life. Diabetes may first present itself in the form of eye infections, boils, styes, recurrent redness, mild haziness of vision, double vision, frequent change of glasses for reading, difficulty in focusing near or distance, difficulty in driving especially at night, glare etc. These signs also appear in diabetic patients already aware of their condition. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you schedule an eye appointment to see your eye care specialist to determine the cause(s).
If left untreated, diabetes can leave you with a lasting untreatable blindness called diabetic retinopathy. In short, diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy in its early stages, may not present itself with any noticeable symptoms to warn you of it happening in your eye. A detailed, meticulous examination of the retina will allow your eye physician to determine if there has been any damage. Early detection is only possible by awareness and understanding of this disease. Regular eye examinations, minimum of once a year, by your eye physician and referrals from your general practitioner or retinal specialist may help to rule out other complications of this disease.
In the early stages, there may be thickening of the retina or a trace of tiny blood clots due to diabetes. Laser treatment benefits the patient the most. If not diagnosed until in the later stages, diabetic retinopathy may progress to become severe, ultimately leading to complete blindness due to total bleeding inside the eye.
It is highly recommended that you get your eyes tested when your treatment has shifted from oral drugs to insulin because the diabetic changes in the retina have worsened. Cataract changes are also associated with diabetic changes and should be monitored for worsening, as surgery is almost definite.
If I have diabetes, am I a safe candidate for LASIK? The answer is…. maybe.
There can be the need for extra caution to be utilized when dealing with LASIK surgery in people with diabetes. If not controlled, diabetics can possibly experience a poor visual outcome after LASIK surgery. Blood sugars can rise and fall dramatically which is believed to be directly associated with changes in vision. Having LASIK will not compensate for blood sugar fluctuation and should not be performed in patients with an untreated diabetic condition.
Before performing any LASIK procedure, individuals will need to go through a thorough screening to ensure that they can have successful refractive surgery. A detailed examination with Dr. Omar F. Almallah including a retinal exam, close examination with a slit lamp, tear film and epithelial tests can lower the high complication rate in individuals with diabetes who undergo LASIK.
If you are interested in LASIK and have diabetes, talk to your doctor, and consult our experienced, highly qualified LASIK surgeon, Dr. Omar F. Almallah. Make sure the surgeon is aware of your problem, and discuss your safety concerns. LASIK procedures have benefited millions of people worldwide including those with diabetes.
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