Diabetes can harm your eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, which is the back part of your eye. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases your risk of having glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems.
Loading the player...Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy - How It's Done Dr. Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist, goes over the various different tools available to help diagnose diabetic retinopathy.
Loading the player...Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Options Dr. David Maberley, MD, MSc. (Epid), FRCSC, Ophthalmologist, discusses how diabetic retinopathy is treated.
Loading the player...Intravitreal Injections - The Procedure Dr. Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist, talks about the steps involved and potential side effects when getting an intravitreal injection.
Loading the player...Diabetes and Your Eyes Dr. David Mitchell, OD, discusses how diabetes affects the eyes.
Loading the player...Management and Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Dr. Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist, talks about how to manage blood sugars in diabetes and treatment options for diabetic retinopathy.
The intravitreal injection procedure consists of freezing the eye and sterilizing the eye—those are the first steps. Your doctor may put in your eye a lit speculum that holds the lids open. After some time they will inject the eye with medication that is required, remove the speculum, they may rinse the eye, and the procedure itself is over.
After the procedure is done, you will feel that the eye is frozen, the lids will feel a little bit heavy, these are all common things after the procedure and are expected. When the freezing wears off, you may have a feeling of sand or grit in the eye, which will fade with time. There may be a red blotch on the white part of the eye, that too will fade with time and get better. You might get a few floaters, a little round ball floating around that looks like it’s on the bottom of your vision. That again goes away in a day or two.
So these are common side effects that occur with a procedure, by the next morning most of these are gone. The red blotch may last for many days, but you will see it gradually changing colour and fading.
All these side effects are not harmful. The red part on your eye—the red blotch on your eye, the biggest problem with it is everyone stops you and asks you “Oh my God, what happened to you?” But it doesn’t affect your vision, and it doesn’t cause any permanent damage; it’s like getting a bruise when you have blood drawn. It doesn’t look good, the difference here is that it’s on the eye so everyone notices that you have it. Aside from that it’s not a problem. Local Ophthalmologist
For more information, talk to your eye doctor, who can explain these effects and what to expect. Presenter: Dr. Amit Gupta, Ophthalmologist, Scarborough, ON
Local Practitioners: Ophthalmologist
Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by looking into the eyes. The eye is the only structure in which a doctor can look with a microscope with a magnification into the microscopic blood vessels in your body, without having to do things like a biopsy.
In the office you will have optical coherence tomography, which is a scan of the eye and can show all kinds of problems, such as swelling of the retina; optical coherence and geography, which allows the shape and location of blood vessels to be identified and look for places where blood vessels are missing or new blood vessels are growing.
You can have photography to compare what is currently happening and be able to compare it to what has happened in the past inside the eye, to see if there’s any progression. You can have fluoresceine and geography, which is injection of a dye inside the arm, and looking at the blood flow in the back of the eye that can be treated by a Local Ophthalmologist
With these techniques it is possible to identify the amount of disease, where the problem points are and make a treatment plan for treating the diabetic retinopathy.
Interestingly, inside the eye, you can look at these microscopic blood vessels by a simple examination. It is possible because of this that you can be diagnosed with diabetes just by somebody looking in your eye. And the other problem is that if you have diabetic eye disease in the blood vessels, you probably have diseases in other organs in your body that you may not yet be aware of.
For more information, talk to your eye doctor, who can explain both the treatments and the options for diagnosing the degree of disease that you have. Often seeing a Endocrinologist or local family physician in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.
Local Practitioners: Ophthalmologist
Diabetic retinopathy is the second leading cause of vision loss in North America, but it’s the leading cause of vision loss in people of working age. So it has major implications in terms of health economics and impact on society. It develops with a diagnosis of diabetes, and tends to occur 10 to 15 years after a patient is diagnosed with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is diabetes that tends to occur as people are younger, and it tends to be the insulin-treated form of diabetes. And really when that disease begins, we can start counting because we have a very precise diagnosis to when Type 1 diabetes begins.
With Type 2 diabetes, which tends to occur in elderly people, in obese people and people with vascular disease, that can often grumble along for years before a diagnosis is actually made.
And so when a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is made, a patient may already have five or six years of diabetes in their system, and their risk of developing eye disease from diabetes could be very frequently, very quickly developing after that.
And we often see people coming in with diabetic retinopathy who haven’t even been diagnosed with diabetes yet. So in the context of Type 2 diabetes, it is important for people who are diagnosed with that to have an eye exam very early on in the course of their disease management.
Now diabetes affects the eye primarily in two ways. Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels in the body. Those sugars, when they’re broken down, can damage the blood vessels, and they damage the blood vessels in the eye.
Most frequently, the blood vessels start to leak, and we get fluid leaking into the macula or the central part of your retina, and that causes blurring of vision and can cause loss of vision.
That’s called diabetic macular edema. The second problem that can occur is the blood vessels in the back of your eye can start to break down in a way that the retinal tissue loses blood supply and tries to grow its own blood vessels to compensate.
Now those compensatory vessels are a problem because they’re fragile and they don’t grow properly, and they can form scar tissue and they can bleed and they can cause traction and pulling on your retina, and can even lead to retinal detachment or an eye full of blood. So we’re obviously very concerned about diabetic retinopathy. The biggest problem is, is that most people’s vision is very, very good until the disease is already rampant in their eyes. And so early detection and prevention is very important for this condition. This condition only occurs if you have diabetes. Local Ophthalmologist
But if you have more questions, please talk to your family doctor about a diagnosis of diabetes, if you’re concerned about that. And if you’re concerned about diabetic retinopathy, a referral to your local ophthalmologist would likely be a good idea. We tend to recommend yearly examinations for patients with diabetes for their eyes.