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Why is Diabetes Awareness Necessary?

Did you know diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States?
According to the 2017 Diabetes Statistics Report released by the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), there are about 30.3 million people with diabetes that equals to almost 9.4% of the US population. The numbers for pre-diabetes indicate that 84.1 million adults (33.9% of the adult U.S. population) have pre-diabetes, including 23.1 million adults aged 65 years or older.

Why Is It So Important To Detect Diabetes Early?

It is important to treat diabetes as soon as possible, because if it is left untreated, diabetes can result in a host of other problems, one of those being permanent blindness. It increases the risk of contracting other eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma as well. When detected in time, with the help of appropriate treatment and care, the risk of vision loss and other related diseases can be reduced by almost 95%.

Why Eye Exams Are Important For People Suffering from Diabetes?

Many a times, underlying health conditions are often detected through eye exams, thus making regular eye exams extremely important. One of the most common misconceptions about eye exams is that your eye doctor is only testing your sight. However, that isn’t always the case. An eye exam allows the doctor to assess your eyes and identify irregularities. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it becomes all the more important to get routine eye exams as it can reduce your chances of facing vision-related problems in the future.

What Type of Eye Exam Should I Undergo?

You must get a comprehensive eye exam, where the doctor not only tests your sight, but also checks your eyes for abnormalities such as retina fluid or blood drops. This type of eye exam is done using a high-powered microscope to examine the tiny structures inside your eyes, which also include a closer look at your blood vessels, optic nerves, and other complex eye structures to check for damage due to diseases like diabetes. By analyzing these sections of your eye, your eye doctor will then be able to gauge the overall health of your eyes and provide additional consultation options depending on the results.

How often should I have my eyes examined?

While it is advisable to get your eyes checked every two years, you may need to increase the frequency depending on your personal medical history. For instance, people over 40 are particularly susceptible to developing eye conditions such as glaucoma. Apart from regular eye check-ups, you must also make it a point to visit your eye doctor if you face any vision-related problems.

Take Action Now

So, this November, as a part of National Diabetes Month, the eye doctors at Insight Vision Center in Fresno, California urge you to make a pledge to get regular eye exams and encourage your friends and families as well, so we can all work together and help raise awareness against diabetes. By encouraging people to get regular eye exams, not only will you help them protect their vision, but also help increase awareness about the disease and its impact. If you want to schedule a comprehensive eye check-up for you and your family, simply call us on +559-449- 5050 to book an appointment right away!

According to a study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three people with diabetes, who are older than age 40 already, have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. Studies also found that patients with diabetes are also twice as likely to develop Glaucoma and cataracts. This happens because elevated sugar levels in your body lead to a higher amount of blood glucose, thus putting your eye at risk. If you are suffering from diabetes, then you must take a look at the following methods and protect yourself and your vision from the ill-effects of this disease:

  1. Control Your Blood Sugar
    A spike in blood sugar can affect the shape of your eye’s lens, causing blurry vision, and once the blood sugar level stabilizes, it goes back to normal. However, you must be vary of such rises in blood sugar levels as it can damage the blood vessels in your eyes. You can keep a check on your blood sugar levels by taking the A1C every 3-4 months to determine how well-controlled your diabetes has been during that period.
  2. Maintain Your Blood Pressure
    If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is also a high chance of suffering from high blood pressure. High blood pressure is also harmful too your eyes, as a rise in blood pressure around your eyes can also cause blood vessel damage. In fact, the combination of high blood pressure and the presence of high blood sugar can seriously affect your vision. So, take all the necessary precautions to keep your blood pressure in check to avoid any long-term damage to your vision.
  3. Change Your Lifestyle
    With diabetes comes the need to control your diet and regulate the kind of foods you eat. And considering the risk diabetes puts to your health, a lifestyle change is required. In order to contain the effects of diabetes on your body and your eyes, follow a nutrient rich diet regime that can provide you with all the necessary vitamins and supplements to keep your health at its best. And to further the benefits of your diet, be sure to complement it with some simple exercises. This will automatically boost your cardiovascular health, thus ensuring your blood vessels are well-protected.
  4. Schedule Comprehensive Dilated Exams Annually
    Scheduling regular comprehensive dilated eye exams is the most important thing you can do to protect your vision against diabetic eye diseases. Since many eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy have no visible signs in its early stages, such eye examinations work as important tools for disease prevention and control. During the exam, your eye doctor will carefully examine the retina and optic nerve of your eye for signs of damage. And by carrying out this exercise regularly, your ophthalmologist will be able to immediately identify signs of damage, allowing him to begin treatment accordingly.Apart from this, you can also make a note of your vision on a daily basis. This way if you notice anything out of the ordinary, you can quickly schedule an eye exam and receive the necessary help. If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you will have some vision abnormalities as the medication you are taking affects the glucose levels in your body, thus impacting your vision. However, if you are facing prolonged bouts of blurred vision, it might be a signal for help. Vision issues faced during your diabetes treatment can be contained by ensuring regular check-ups and eye exams.

    If you have been facing any vision related side-effects, call InSight Vision Center Fresno, CA on +559-449-5050 to contact our team of professionals and schedule your eye exam today!

It’s no secret that exercising is the best way to get in shape and stay fit. It keeps you healthy and helps you avoid serious health conditions. But, did you know that exercising is also extremely beneficial for your eye health? This is because the act of exercising releases hormones and anti-oxidants that are known to combat the effects of cell damage in the body, which also includes your eyes.

How Physical Exercise Can Help You?

Researchers have also conducted numerous studies on the matter and have found a strong correlation between exercising and good eye-health. When our body is undergoing physical stress in the form of a work-out, it stimulates our endocrine system, which releases chemicals and hormones that control the various cellular functions of the body. The hormones released while working-out are known to control a number of physiological reactions in the body. These hormones allow you to build new muscle and tissue while helping you burn fat. They also play a large role in facilitating the following bodily functions:

  • tissue growth and regeneration
  • hydration levels
  • synthesis and degradation of muscle protein
  • energy generation
  • metabolism levels

The endocrine glands also produce a number of anti-oxidants that help fight the effect of free radicals in your body as well as your eyes. Free radicals in the eyes are known to cause a number of eye-diseases, listed as follows:

  1. Cataract
  2. Glaucoma
  3. AMD or Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  4. Diabetic Retinopathy
  5. Dry Eye
  6. Low Vision

If you are suffering from any of the eye-diseases mentioned above or are looking to reduce the chances of their occurrence all together, cardiovascular exercises are the way to go. Exercises such as Aerobics, Zumba, jogging or even brisk walking will help lower the pressure in your eyes, otherwise known as help intraocular pressure. The hormones and anti-oxidants that release post-workout also helps keep the retinal ganglion cells protected by fighting free radicals in the eye. Cardio exercises are especially beneficial as it helps increase the flow of the blood to the optic nerve and the retina. While vision related problems cannot be fixed completely, exercising helps enhance overall eye health while protecting it from free radical damage and reducing their long-term effects.

If you are facing eye-related health problems or need an assessment of your current eye health, call us on +559-449-5050 to contact our team of professionals at Insight Vision Centre in Fresno, California and schedule your eye exam today!

According to Blindness America, in its report titled “Vision Problems in the United States: Prevalence of Adult Vision Impairment and Age-Related Eye Disease in America”, women are more prone to vision problems than men. The report states that women are at higher risk for eye disease after the age of 50, especially:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

According to Prevent Blindness:

  • Women form the majority of Americans over 40 with visual impairment or blindness
  • 25% of women have not had an eye exam in at least 2 years
  • 5% of women believe men are at greater risk of permanent vision loss
  • 86% believe the risk is equal for men and women
  • Less than 10% understand that they are at greater risk

To protect your eyes and reduce the risk of vision loss, here are 7 eye care tips for women:

  1. Understand Potential Risks – Obesity, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, autoimmune disorders, and thyroid problems increase the risk of eye disease. Know your family’s medical history. If vision loss, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts or glaucoma are common, you may have inherited these problems. Exercise regularly and get regular medical checkups if you’re overweight, since obesity can lead to diabetes and other conditions that affect eye health.
  2. Get the Right Nutrition – A balanced diet plays an essential role in women’s health, but certain foods are known to boost eye health as well. For instance, spinach, kale, broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables are loaded with lutein. This antioxidant may help protect against AMD, the leading cause of blindness. Other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and A, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids are also essential for eye health.
  3. Wear Protective Eyewear – Your eyes are extremely delicate, so it’s essential to protect your eyes from excessive UV exposure, accidents and other damage. Wear sunglasses that block out 99-100% of both UVA and UVB rays, to reduce the risk of cataract and eye tumors. You should also wear protective eyewear to avoid eye injury while playing sports, swimming, cleaning with strong chemicals, or working with sharp tools.
  4. Care for Contact Lenses – A lot of women prefer to wear contact lenses instead of glasses, usually for aesthetic reasons or comfort. If you’re a contact lens wearer, follow a proper routine for cleaning, removing and replacing your lenses. Poor hygiene or over-wearing lenses can cause corneal scarring, which may lead to blindness. You can also opt for Lasik refractive surgery to get rid of both glasses and contact lenses permanently.
  5. Be Careful with Makeup – If you use eye makeup regularly, remove it at the end of the day. Sleeping with makeup on can clog your tear ducts or trap dirt and bacteria, leading to scratches, eye disease, and a host of other problems. Using eyeliners, mascaras and eye shadows past their expiry date can also cause eye irritation, allergic reactions and eye infection, so throw away old makeup and avoid sharing cosmetics with others.
  6. Watch for Vision Problems – Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can also affect your vision. For instance, water retention can cause a change in your number or power, as well as puffy eyelids or dry eyes when you’re pregnant. Dry eyes are also common during menopause, along with redness or heaviness in the eyes or eyelids. Be aware of changes that may occur as you get older, and get a checkup if you face any problems.
  7. Get an Eye Exam Regularly – A comprehensive eye exam can help you prevent eye disease, eye infection and even vision loss, since early detection and treatment keep minor problems from turning into serious health concerns. Dilated eye exams may help with early detection of diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions as well. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, get an eye exam every 1-2 years, and annually after the age of 50.

Women are caregivers, often looking after the family’s wellness before their own. However, it’s equally crucial to care for your own vision and health, so you can continue to care for your loved ones. Head to InSight Vision Center for a comprehensive eye exam today!

In the excitement of the much awaited solar eclipse make sure you don’t forget the one thing that you’ve grown up listening to – Do not look at the sun with your naked eyes. This solar eclipse is no exception to the rule so if you plan to catch a glimpse of the rare event taking place on August 21, here are 7 tips to keep in mind:

  1. Sunglasses, color films, media X-ray films, floppy disks, and smoked glass should never be used for viewing a solar eclipse as none of these options offer any protection against harmful UV radiation.
  2. You can use a telescope or binoculars to project the sun’s image on a screen while avoiding the side-mounted finder scope.
  3. You can also buy eclipse glasses at a local welding supply store but be sure to check that the glass grading meets the safety requirements set by the ISO.
  4. If you happen to live in the path of the solar eclipse, you can safely witness it with your naked eyes at the moment of totality when the moon blocks the sun completely.
  5. Those of you who do not wish to take any risk can view the event from the comfort of your couch while it is being streamed live on your TV screen.
  6. If you normally wear glasses do not remove them to put on your eclipse glasses. Instead, wear your eclipse glasses over your normal eyeglasses or you can also hold them in front of your regular glasses.
  7. If you are into a lot of DIY, an alternative method is using a pinhole projector where you stream the sunlight from a small pencil hole onto a makeshift screen. Make sure you do not look at the eclipse through this pinhole but only at the partially eclipsed sun on the projector screen.

Eclipse blindness is not a myth so do not risk your lifelong healthy vision when viewing a grand solar phenomenon for a few seconds. You pair of sunglass definitely won’t protect you against the harmful UV rays and infrared light. In order to educate people on the perils of unsafe viewing practices and how to view this captivating celestial occurrence safely, two experts – Dr. Eric Poulsen and Dr. White have made a few recommendations. Read them in detail here and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience safely:

https://abc30.com/amp/safety-solar-eclipse-fresno-total/2311505/

Could you have cataracts? When should you have them operated on? These are probably the thoughts going through your mind right? Don’t worry as you are not alone in this and this article is sure to help you put some of your doubts to rest. Cataracts are an eye condition, particularly common amongst elderly people, that causes the lens of the eye to become clouded and reduces your vision. Cataracts are different from glaucoma which cannot be reversed; cataracts can be treated with eye surgery by an ophthalmologist. Here are 7 facts that you need to know about cataracts:

1. Cataract Eye Surgery Replaces Your Clouded Lens with Artificial Lens

Cataract surgery can restore your vision that was lost due to cataracts. A cataract occurs when proteins clump together in your eye which causes clouding or causes the loss of transparency in your natural eye lens. Cataract surgery removes the non-functioning eye lens and replaces it with artificial implants which are called intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL then become a permanent part of your eye.

2. Cataracts are Common

Cataracts are common, the age-related clouding of the eye and the number one cause of blindness globally. More than half of all Americans will have had or undergone cataract surgery by the age of 80, more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed annually and it is one of the safest and most effective types of surgeries.

3. Age is Not a Factor Anymore as the Number of Surgeries Have Risen

The annual number of cataract surgeries is increasing annually and the average age of the surgery patient is dropping. Research indicates that the rate of cataract surgery had increased 5 times between 1980 and 2010. The average age of a patient undergoing cataract surgery has now dropped to 65. Records show that the average age for the same was previously 73 to 75 years in 2004.

4. Cataract Surgery Allows You to See Things More Clearly

After having cataract surgery, you will experience the best possible vision due to accurate incisions and corrections which will help you achieve your goal of being less dependent on your spectacles. Studies have shown that there was a decline in car accidents amongst the elderly after their cataract surgeries. Another study depicted a drop in the rate of falls experienced by older women after they underwent cataract surgery. A study in Australia found that there were less reports of anxiety or depression after cataract surgery, this was probably due to improved visibility, improved confidence, reduced social isolation and increased activity.

5. Cataract Surgeries are Not Painful

Cataract surgery is not as painful as most patients have described a mild sensation around their eyes. In certain cases, your doctor may administer a small anesthetic block around your eye. The majority of patients have not found the operation stressing or painful. You can also opt for a general anesthetic to knock you out throughout the procedure.

6. People are Opting to Have Cataract Surgeries Earlier Nowadays

The Boomer generation is opting to have cataract surgery earlier than their predecessors. Their line of reasoning being that the surgery is safe with a lot less complications due to technological advancements. Most patients want to get rid of the cataracts immediately rather than waiting for them to get worse. Research indicates that today’s generation does not want to slow down in their lives due to vision problems and choose to get rid of their vision problems as soon as possible.

7. Cataract Surgery is Not Risk-Free But due to Major Advancements it Offers Benefits Beyond Improved Vision

The rate of there being any serious risks is pretty low ranging between 1-4% according to the American Academy of Opthalmology. You need to discuss with your surgeon about whether the future benefits to your eyes are worth the small risks he will take when removing your cataracts. Today patients may spend just 15 minutes having their surgery with an incision which is just 1/5 the previous size with no sutures after which the patient has to spend just 2 hours at the outpatient surgical center.

If you are facing any symptoms of cataracts then it’s time for your eye exam! Contact our team of professionals at Insight Vision Centre in Fresno, California to schedule your eye exam today!

Pregnancy is a joyful time, full of expectations and hope, but it can also take a toll on your body. Along with nausea, backaches and mood swings, you may find your vision affected too. LASIK surgery is the most popular choice for vision correction, but you should avoid getting it done during your pregnancy.

Let’s look at some of the ways in which being pregnant could affect your eyes and why LASIK vision correction should be conducted either before or after your pregnancy.

8 Ways in Which Pregnancy Might Affect Your Vision

Here are some common eye-related issues women face during pregnancy:

  1. Dry Eyes – Your eyes might feel dry during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as a result of hormonal changes. This is temporary, so ask your doctor about lubricating eye drops to help keep your eyes moist and comfortable.
  2. Vision Changes – Hormonal surges can cause changes in power during pregnancy, but this is also temporary. Your vision should return to normal within a few weeks after giving birth, but get a checkup to ensure there are no serious issues.
  3. Distorted Vision – Fluid retention and high blood pressure during pregnancy can affect your cornea, causing changes in its shape or thickness. Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes will normally go away after delivery or breastfeeding.
  4. Central Serous Choroidopathy – Fluid retention may also cause fluid leaks under the retina of your eye, causing blurry vision or making things seem smaller. This will stop after childbirth, but keep your doctor informed about any symptoms.
  5. Migraines – Hormonal changes can cause migraine headaches, which are not only painful but may also make your eyes more photosensitive. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter, alternative or prescription medication.
  6. Pregnancy Diabetes – Also known as gestational diabetes, this temporary condition can cause blurred vision if the small blood vessels supplying your retina get damaged. Keep sugar levels under control during and after your pregnancy.
  7. Pituitary Adenoma – This is a benign tumor that affects the pituitary gland, causing tunnel vision. The tumor may grow when you’re pregnant since hormone secretions from the pituitary gland are higher during this time.
  8. Puffiness – Hormonal surges can cause puffiness in the eyelids and around your eyes, affecting your side vision. Stay well-hydrated, eat healthy, and avoid high-sodium or caffeine to reduce water retention during pregnancy.

There are many benefits to LASIK vision correction, and if you’ve been considering the procedure, make sure you time it right. Set up an appointment with your eye care center before you plan to get pregnant, or after delivery.

Why Is It Better to Plan LASIK Before or After Your Pregnancy?

Here’s why you should get LASIK surgery before your pregnancy or delay till after you stop breastfeeding:

  1. Medication – You will be given a sedative before the procedure, as well as eye drops to dilate and numb your eyes. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic eye drops and painkillers, and you should avoid these medications while you’re pregnant.
  2. Radiation – LASIK surgery exposes you to very low radiation levels for a few minutes, when the laser is being used to create incisions in the cornea and reshape it. However, even this minimal radiation exposure may pose a risk to your baby.
  3. Refractive Changes – Pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones can cause your prescription or power to change temporarily. If you were to get laser surgery during this time, your prescription may change again when your eyes stabilize.
  4. Nursing Hormones – Hormonal changes will take place in your body even when you’re breastfeeding. These can interfere with healing or cause temporary changes to the cornea, so LASIK should not be performed when you’re nursing.

How Soon Can You Get LASIK after Your Baby is Born?

Ideally, wait 3-6 months after you stop breastfeeding, or one menstrual period from the baby’s birth if you aren’t nursing. This way, you can be sure that your hormones are stable and your eyes have reverted to normal before you plan LASIK surgery.

To learn more about the best time to plan a laser corrective procedure, contact Insight Vision Center today!

While technology is great, the devices we rely on for everything might be exposing our eyes to dangers like blurred vision, retinal damage and digital eye strain. Adults and children alike are using computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, video games, Fitbits, GPS devices and other gadgets on a daily basis. However, staring at backlit LED screens, especially at night, has a negative impact on vision and causes digital eye strain. In certain cases, the symptoms of eye strain are a manifestation of an underlying eye condition so it is important that you know them and receive timely treatment.

Digital Eye Strain Symptoms

  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Itchiness and burning sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent headaches
  • A painful shoulder
  • Aching back
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Increased sensitivity to light

6 Frightening Outcomes of Using Digital Devices on Eye Health

The potential outcomes of overexposure to digital devices include:

  1. Digital Eye Strain (DES) – This is a term used to describe problems with vision or eyes that are caused by using computers or digital devices for two hours or more daily. Symptoms include eye strain, headaches, redness, dry eye syndrome, blurry vision and neck/shoulder/back pain. It occurs due to screen glare/position, decreased blinking, and poor posture.
  2. Texting-Related Issues – Continuous texting can also cause vision issues, including dryness, eye strain, fatigue, headaches and perhaps even myopia or nearsightedness. This happens because of holding a phone too close to the eyes, not blinking enough while staring at a phone screen, and squinting or straining to read text displayed in small fonts.
  3. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) – CVS is becoming a common problem for those who stare at digital screens for long periods without blinking, from too close, or at uncomfortable angles. It can cause symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, trouble with focusing, dry eyes, double or blurred vision, light sensitivity, and burning, itchiness or watering in eyes.
  4. Tension Headaches – Using digital devices for too long can lead to tension headaches, which are caused by extended eye strain. Screen glare and high contrast between dark-colored text and bright screens are usually to blame. Your eyes need to work much harder while focusing on the screen, leading to muscle spasms near the temples.
  5. Retinal Damage – High Energy Visible Light (HEV) is the blue/violet light emitted by digital devices with LED screens. It lies at the blue end of the color spectrum, and direct exposure may contribute to retinal damage. This can affect your central vision and cause macular degeneration or make age-related macular degeneration (AMD) worse.
  6. The Risk of Cataracts – There may be a link between blue light from digital devices and an increase in cataract development. While more studies need to be conducted in this regard, there is cause for concern. Doctors report that some patients in their mid-30s are showing cataracts with the same level of cloudiness normally seen only in patients over the age of 70.
  7. Ocular Migraines – Sitting in front of the TV screen for several hours, playing games on a hand-held device, reading e-books under fluorescent lights or working on a computer for extended hours can trigger ocular migraines. Also known as retinal migraines, ocular migraines usually accompany flashing dots, nausea, sensitivity to flashing lights, temporary blindness, wavy lines, and may or may not accompany a throbbing headache.
  8. Dry Eyes – Working on the computer screen for longer hours often results in irritated and dry eyes. Other symptoms of dry eyes include increased sensitivity to light and blurred vision. If left untreated, dry eyes can adversely impact your eyesight so it is very important to protect eyes from the computer screen with anti-glare eyewear.

Who Is At Greatest Risk of Vision Issues?

Children using digital devices on a frequent and regular basis face a higher risk of vision-related issues, since their eyes are still developing. They do not have the natural defense against blue light found in adult eyes as a result of the lens yellowing with age, which keeps blue light from efficiently penetrating and reaching the retina.

Millennials who have grown up using digital devices, students, and people working on computers all day are also at a higher risk of eye strain, especially if they do not follow proper eye care practices.

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Digital Eye Strain

Here are 10 preventative measures that can help protect your eyes from damage

  1. Avoiding glare helps prevent eye strain, so use an anti-glare screen or coating on devices that you use often.
  2. Follow the “20-20-20” rule – look away from the screen every 20 minutes, at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. You can also massage your eyes periodically for lasting eye strain relief.
  3. Keep your phone as far from your eyes as possible, but at a distance where you can still comfortably read without straining.
  4. Adjust the brightness on your digital display so it matches the brightness of the area around it.
  5. Position yourself at an arm’s length from the computer screen, with the screen just below your eye level.
  6. Take frequent breaks to rest your eyes. Stretch, go outside or take a nap – whatever works for you!
  7. Get an eye exam regularly to help nip any eyesight or eye health issues in the bud, before they get worse.
  8. Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently, since this keeps your eyes clean and lubricated.
  9. Place a light source behind you instead of behind the device, so your eyes don’t have to work so hard to adjust.
  10. Wear glasses with an anti-reflective coating while using any digital device for prolonged periods of time.

Are you experiencing any of the digital eye strain symptoms stated above?

Schedule a consultation at InSight Vision Center to combat the negative effects of digital eye strain while preventing it from progressing and inviting other problems.

Do you have diabetes? If yes, then you are at a risk of developing serious eye diseases. High blood sugar can lead to problems like blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. In fact, diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults between 20-74 years. Let us look at some eye diseases that result from diabetes.

4 Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes

1) Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

One of the most serious eye conditions, diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels present at the back of the eye become blocked and start leaking.

Types of DR

a) Background Diabetic Retinopathy

This doesn’t affect the eyesight but the eyes need to be monitored to ensure that the retinopathy doesn’t worsen.

b) Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

If background diabetic retinopathy gets worse, then many retinal blood vessels get blocked or damaged. If these changes occur over a large area of the retina, then the blood vessels to the retina will be reduced, which the body tries to fix by growing new blood vessels on the retinal surface or into the vitreous gel. However, these new vessels are generally weak and bleed very easily, thus affecting your vision

c) Diabetic Maculopathy

This occurs when the macula is affected by retinopathy. It affects the central vision, which is required to see fine details and color, and makes it blurry.

Causes of DR

The primary cause of this eye disease is chronically high blood sugar from diabetes as it directly damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina.

Symptoms

The early stages usually don’t have any symptoms, which is why the disease progresses unnoticed until it starts affecting your vision.

If the abnormal retina blood cells start bleeding, then it can cause an appearance of ‘floating spots’ in the eye. These spots may be clear on their own but if there is no proper treatment, the bleeding will recur and increase the risk of permanent vision loss.

Treatment

If your eye condition is detected in the early stages, then you will be given a laser treatment. It helps in preventing bleeding or growth of new blood vessels.

Reducing Risk

You can reduce the risk of DR by:

  • Controlling the blood glucose levels
  • Controlling the cholesterol levels
  • Controlling the blood pressure
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking

Get a regular retinal screening as it can help in detecting diabetic retinopathy at an early stage and early treatment will stop you from losing sight. You must have the retinal screenings more often if you’re pregnant and have gestational diabetes. The screenings must be done during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.

2) Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

This eye disease causes an accumulation of fluid in the macula, which is a part of the retina that controls our detailed vision abilities, due to the leaking of blood vessels. You must have diabetic retinopathy in order to have DME. It damages the blood vessels and results in vision impairment. If left untreated, these blood vessels begin to build up pressure in the eye and leak fluid, causing DME.

Causes of DME

High blood sugar is one of the main causes of DME. It can make the blood vessels leak or grow uncontrollably in your retina. DME occurs when the fluids leak into your retina. This leaking will cause the retina to swell, thus hampering the work of your macula.

Symptoms

It usually doesn’t have symptoms, however, you may experience the following:

  • Blurry images that are directly in front of you
  • Washed out colors

3) Cataract

This occurs when there is clouding or fogging in the otherwise clear lens of the eye. Since the lens allows you to focus and see images clearly, the cataract will cause blurry, cloudy or glazed vision. Cataract can strike anyone but those with diabetes can get cataract at an earlier age than others and the condition will progress more rapidly in diabetic people.

You can treat cataract through a surgery where the cloudy lens is removed or cleaned out and replaced by a clear man-made lens.

4) Glaucoma

Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve. It occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. This extra fluid builds pressure in the eye and damages the optic nerve and blood vessels, thus affecting the vision.

Symptoms

It does not cause any symptoms until it starts affecting the eyesight and you have major vision loss. However, in the early stages, you can experience headaches, blurred vision, eye aches, watery eyes and halos around a light.

Treatment

The treatment of glaucoma includes medications that can treat open-angle glaucoma. They lower eye pressure, reduce the amount of liquid the eye produces and speeds up the drainage.

Preventive Steps to Take

  • If you have type 1 diabetes, you should have a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist within three to five years after diagnosis.
  • Those with type 2 diabetes should have a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist shortly after diagnosis.
  • Annual eye exams are a must for people suffering from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. You can make the check-ups more frequent if necessary.
  • Women with a history of diabetes considering pregnancy should have an eye exam before and during pregnancy. This does not pertain to women with gestational diabetes.

Make an appointment today with an eye doctor at Insight Vision Center to rule out any eye diseases that may be caused due to diabetes.

Dark side of wearing contact lenses

Getting your first set of contact lenses would feel like an amazing upgrade to eyeglasses. You can see the world more clearly just by popping them in and you would look good too! They can fit in easily onto the eye and allow you to perform numerous tasks that might be uncomfortable in glasses such as traveling, exercising, etc.

However, if you do not use contact lenses properly, you will be exposed to some side effects which could even affect your vision in the long run.

8 Risks and Side Effects of Using Contact Lenses

1. Blockage of Oxygen Supply to the Eyes

Since contact lenses lie directly on the eye and cover the entire cornea, the amount of oxygen reaching your eyes will decrease. Good oxygen supply is absolutely critical to keep the eyes healthy.

Choose soft or silicone hydrogel lenses as they transmit more oxygen than the conventional soft contact lens materials. They will even be better for your eyes in the long run. Avoid wearing contact lenses for long hours at a stretch.

2. Dry Eyes

Contact lens reduces the quantity of tears getting on the cornea as they absorb most of our tears to keep itself soft. This lack of tears causes dry eye syndrome leading to itchiness, burning sensation and redness of the eyes. If the eyes get too dry, it will lead to the scarring of the cornea which can be extremely painful.

If you suffer from chronic eye dryness, use eyedrops to lubricate the eyes to provide some relief to them.

3. Irritation when Combined with Medication, especially Birth Control Pill

Concurrent use of contraceptive pills and contact lens together will result in chronic dry eyes and irritation. You will experience changes in the tear film, which primarily consists of three main layers which come together to protect, bathe and nourish the eye surface.

The combination of birth control pills and contact lenses will upset this balance in the tear film and cause excessive tearing, burning eyes and a gritty foreign body sensation in the eye. The restricted flow of oxygen to the eye will aggravate the condition.

Avoid using lenses as long as you are on the pill.

4. Diminished Corneal Reflex

Using contact lenses may cause diminished corneal reflex in the eye. Corneal reflex is a protective mechanism of the eye where the brain signals the eyelids to drop down to protect our eyes whenever the slightest amount of pressure is applied to the cornea. Corneal reflex makes sure that we close our eyes if something may cause a direct trauma to them, like a flying object coming towards our eyes or if someone tries to poke us.

When you use contact lenses constantly, you teach your body to ignore the natural corneal reflex. This may dull the eye’s response to corneal reflex, which could lead to the eye being damaged if you can’t shut your eyes fast enough in case of danger.

Keep the usage of the lenses to a minimum. Use glasses when you are at home to ensure that corneal reflex isn’t diminished too much by constant use.

5. Corneal Abrasion

There is a possibility of the contact lenses scratching your cornea, causing corneal abrasion if they are not fitted properly or when your eyes are too dry.

Never sleep with contact lenses in as the risk of abrasion will increase. The lenses will trap particles like dirt and sand and rub against your cornea. These abrasions will create an opening for bacteria and virus to seep through and give birth to eye infections, which can result in loss of vision too.

You may even scratch your cornea when you insert or extract contact lenses carelessly. Ensure that you fit the lenses carefully and you never sleep in them.

6. Red Eye or Conjunctivitis

There will be a high risk of conjunctivitis and stye if you wear contact lenses for long hours at a stretch, especially through the night. They provide a moist environment which acts as a potential breeding ground for microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. Additionally, since less oxygen reaches the cornea when you wear lenses, the body doesn’t fight off an infection that is caused by bacteria or viruses as effectively as it should.

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is the most common type of conjunctivitis that contact lens wearers get due to repeated irritation from the contact lenses.

Always, always, always remove your contact lens before sleeping.

7. Ptosis

Ptosis is a condition where the eyelids start drooling and the affected individuals are unable to open their eyes fully.

If you use contact lenses, they may move into the eyelid tissues causing scarring and contraction, which further leads to a lid retraction. This especially holds true for hard contact lens wearers as the eyelid is repeatedly stretched during lens removal.

Switching to soft contact lenses would be a good idea.

8. Corneal Ulcer

This occurs when an open sore caused by fungus, bacteria, parasite infection or viruses is formed in the eye’s cornea. A corneal ulcer can cause permanent blindness if it is not treated quickly. If it does lead to blindness, a corneal transplant will probably be the only way to restore vision.

Preventing Side Effects Caused by Contact Lens

Do not over-wear your contact lenses and discard/replace them as directed by the doctor. Remember that lens deposits will continue to build up on your contact lenses over a period of time. The longer you go without replacing the lenses, the more will be the lens deposits — this will reduce the oxygen supply to the corneas, eventually damaging the eyes.

Do not miss your routine contact lens eye exams. Being regular with the check-ups will help your eye doctor detect problems caused by the contact lens in the early stages and prevent them from getting serious by giving you timely treatment.

If your current contact lenses are uncomfortable, try changing them or get an updated prescription. This will help in relieving contact lens irritation. Moreover, you can consider LASIK as a permanent solution to contact lens discomfort.

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