eye treatment

Cataracts are not the only threat to the eyes of a diabetic. Brenda Teele found several other conditions pose a threat, like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. 

Willis Knight Eye Institute ophthalmologists Christopher Shelby, M.D. and Wyche Coleman, M.D. explained the risks.

“The biggest issue with our diabetics is making sure the retina is okay,” said Shelby. 

While there’s often talk about cataracts in a diabetic, there’s an even bigger threat to their vision. “Cataracts are easy meaning that we can cure that. A five – ten minute surgery we take the cataract out put a new lens in they’re doing great. The issue is with their retina,” Shelby said. 

Doctor Shelby says, because of high glucose levels in a diabetic, bleeding and scaring can occur in the back of the eye,  “And that can lead to further visual damage.”

“You know it really doesn’t matter if you get the cataract out if you still have a lot of retinal problems. Your retina is like the film on the camera and your cataract is like the lens on the camera,” said Coleman. 

Dr. Wyche Coleman says it’s a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. “One of the things that we see is that even if the sugar gets tightly controlled, the diabetic retinopathy can progress over time,” Coleman said. 

“And so that scaring can pull on the retina causing traction which could eventually lead to retinal detachment,” Shelby explained.

A person diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is encouraged to get an eye exam immediately.

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