Diabetes Mellitus is a systemic disease that affects the small blood vessels of the body. Your primary care doctor may recommend a yearly eye examination. The eye is the only organ in the body where the small blood vessels can be seen directly by examination and without invasive testing. The status of the blood vessels of the eye may indicate the status of the blood vessels to the rest of the body. This information is important in the management of diabetes. The eye may also be affected by diabetes. Diabetes can cause bleeding and swelling of the retina (the receptive layer that lines the back of the eye). Diabetic eye disease needs careful attention, as serious cases may lead to significant vision loss and even complete blindness.
Yearly dilated eye examinations have become a standard of care for diabetic patients. More frequent exams are needed for patients with existing diabetic eye disease. Early diagnosis is critical in management of diabetic eye disease.
We use the Carl Zeiss Visucam pro fundus camera, with fluorescein angiography capability, to aid in the diagnosis and management of diabetic eye disease.
We also employ the Cirrus OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) which provides a higher level of diagnostic insight. Using near-infrared frequency light, it reveals a cross-sectional view of the retinal layers with very high resolution, thus detecting and localizing early lesions. Many patients with early diabetic eye disease may be able to stop or slow the progression of their condition with tight control of their blood sugar.
Some patients may require laser retinal therapy or surgical intervention to stop the progression of advanced diabetic eye disease.