Diabetes & Your Vision

Did you know that diabetes can affect your vision?  Known as retinopathy, it is a complication of diabetes that damages the tiny blood vessels in the eye’s retina. This is the part of your eye that is sensitive to light. Diabetic retinopathy can potentially cause blindness. It affects one-half of all Americans diagnosed with the disease.

Although most people do not notice any changes in their vision at first, retinopathy can cause a blockage or occlusion of the central retinal vein. This in turn, causes a condition known as macular edema or swelling. This swelling eventually causes blurred vision. It can be managed.

Protection and Hope

A recent study of patients with macular edema, published this month in the Archives of Opthalmology, and mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer showed an improvement in people who received an injection of a steroid known as triamcinolone three times a year compared to those who did not receive this medication. Those who had been injected with the steroid demonstrated a more significant improvement by reading 15 more letters on a standard eye chart.

Let There Be Light

If your elderly parent has diabetes,  help protect their vision by:

  • Scheduling regular eye exams
  • Asking their Ophthalmologist about treatments (above) that may help more effectively
  • Maintaining  good control of their blood sugar
  • Helping them control their blood pressure
  • Helping them keep their cholesterol under control

What’s your vision for your parents? Just imagine what your aging parents will be able to see…clearly!

Evelyn A Fiumara, B.S. – Community Liaison for Elder Connections