Diabetic Retinopathy & Eye Exams at The Eye Care & Surgery Center in New Jersey
Although there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, annual eye exams for patients with diabetes are essential to help slow the progression of diabetic eye disease and its associated vision loss. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control show that diabetes affects approximately 26 million people in the United States. In addition, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age with almost 8 million people ages 40 and older suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes characterized by a weakening of blood vessels in the retina so that they break down, causing the retina to swell, hemorrhage and become deprived of oxygen and nutrients, ultimately leading to vision loss.
Effective management of diabetic eye disease requires-at a minimum-regular dilated eye exams each year for those with diabetes. At The Eye Care & Surgery Center, in instances where there is evidence of retinal complications, we will schedule you to see our Retinal Specialist, Milton Kahn, M.D., who will order additional testing that might include retinal photographs, fluorescein angiography (FA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) as well more frequent visits to our office.
It is well documented that tight blood sugar control delays the onset and slows the progression of diabetic retinopathy. It is also important for patients with diabetes to help reduce their risk of developing diabetic eye disease by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising.
With early diagnosis and treatment, progression of diabetic eye disease and its associated vision loss can at a minimum be slowed, and in many cases vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented.