Diabetic Eye Doctor Cape Coral
Diabetes can have a serious impact on your eye health. When you need a highly qualified diabetic eye doctor in Cape Coral to help evaluate your current situation or manage your treatment, consider Elmquist Eye Group.
Elmquist Eye Group has been serving Lee County and Southwest Florida for 25 years. E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, his partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and his associates, Nina Burt, OD, and Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, provide a complete range of eye care services, including comprehensive eye exams and diagnosis and treatment of diabetic eye disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eyes, glaucoma, presbyopia, myopia, hyperopia and other eye conditions.
Diabetic Eye Disease Questions & Answers
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Although glucose supplies energy to the body’s cells, too much of it in the blood for an extended time period can damage the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels, including the small blood vessels in the back of the eye or retina.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
A healthy retina is necessary for good vision; however, when high blood sugar levels cause blood vessels in the retina to swell, leak, or close off completely, or when abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retinal surface, diabetic retinopathy may develop.
Diabetic retinopathy is more likely to affect individuals who have had diabetes for a long time or whose diabetes is poorly controlled. There are typically no symptoms or pain, and you may not notice any change in your vision in the early stages.
Prevention is the best treatment for diabetic retinopathy. With treatment, the progression of vision loss can be slowed. Without treatment, diabetic retinopathy can steadily progress and become severe, requiring laser treatment to seal off leaking blood vessels and destroy new growth and/or possible surgery.
For this reason, it’s important to have a dilated eye exam at Elmquist Eye Group at least once a year to detect diabetic retinopathy and treat it early.
Can diabetes affect my vision even if I don’t have diabetic retinopathy?
Yes. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop a cataract, often at younger ages, than individuals who are not diabetic. If cataracts interfere with your vision they can be removed and an artificial intraocular lens can be implanted to restore clear vision.
Individuals with diabetes are also 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than individuals without diabetes. Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up inside the eye, leading to optic nerve and retinal damage and vision loss. Loss of sight from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment.
Who is at risk of vision complications from diabetes?
Most diabetics experience nothing more than minor eye disorders, but the risk of diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related conditions is higher in people with poor blood sugar control and those who:
- Are pregnant
- Are obese
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high blood lipids
- Are African-American, Hispanic, or Native American
Your eye doctor at Elmquist Eye Group in Cape Coral can help you keep minor diabetic eye problems under control through regular dilated eye exams. Get in touch with us today at (239) 936-2020 to schedule an eye exam so that we can help you keep your eyes healthy and preserve your vision.