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Diabetes and its complications can affect many parts of the eye. Diabetes can cause changes in nearsightedness, farsightedness, and premature presbyopia (the inability to focus on close objects with age). It can result in cataracts, glaucoma, strabismus (a lack of eye alignment), and decreased corneal sensitivity. Visual symptoms of diabetes include fluctuating or blurring of vision, occasional double vision, night vision problems, and flashes and floaters within the eye. The most serious eye problem associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.

What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when there is a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the retina or back of your eye, resulting in blood leakage, the growth of new blood vessels, and other changes. If diabetic retinopathy is left untreated, blindness can result.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?
In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with laser therapy to seal leaking blood vessels. In more advanced cases, surgery inside the eye may be necessary. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is crucial.

Can vision loss from diabetes be prevented?
Many times, early signs of diabetes are detected in a comprehensive ophthalmologist examination. During such an exam, Dr. Carpenter can diagnose potential vision threatening changes in your eye that may be able to be treated to prevent blindness. However, once damage has occurred, the effects are usually permanent.

Monitor and maintain control of your diabetes. This can lower your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by as much as 76%. See your physician regularly and follow instructions about diet, exercise, and medication. See Dr. Carpenter for a comprehensive eye examination when you are first diagnosed with diabetes. Schedule a thorough eye examination at least once a year, or more often, as recommended by your doctor.

Since Dr. Carpenter is an eye and facial surgeon, most vision and facial procedures done at Eye & Cosmetic Surgery, LLC. are covered by medical insurance - you do not need to have vision insurance. That means that your medical insurance will cover services needed to correct those droopy eyelids, annoying facial lesions or poor vision. Call today for a consultation.

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