Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in American adults. Estimates in 2015 put the US population with diabetes affecting 30.3 million people. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diabetic cases. Diabetic eye disease is made up from a group of eye conditions that include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME),glaucoma and cataracts.
• Diabetic retinopathy affects small blood vessels in the retina. It causes the vessels to become leaky and weak leading to areas of hypoxia and lipid deposition. It is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in adult diabetic patients.
• Diabetic macular edema is a swelling or accumulation of fluid in the macular area which containsa persons central vision. It can produce severe vision loss and in many cases needs immediate retinal consultation for a laser procedure
• Glaucoma is an eye disease or group of diseases that cause elevated pressure in the eye which consequently damages the optic nerve. Diabetes double the chances of acquiring glaucoma.
• Cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens usually associated with aging. Diabetic patients are 2-5X more likely to develop cataracts and also develop cataracts at a younger age.
It is vital that diabetic patients have yearly dilated eye examinations. Beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy usually have no symptoms and go undiagnosed without eye exams. The diabetic eye exam at McKinney Eyeworks involves the use of many instruments including our Zeiss Visucam to photodocument the retina and monitor any changes as retinopathy progresses or regresses. Unlike many optometric offices we also employ the use of a Zeiss Cirrus HD OCT. An OCT is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light rays to take cross sections of the individual layers of the retina. This allows us to view what diabetic retinopathy is doing below the surface of the retina and follow disease progression. It is a vital piece of equipment to manage and treat diabetic patients. Dr. Woerz and Dr. Wang will not only diagnose any retinal problems associated with diabetes but stay in close contact with our patients endocrinologist or PCP to manage our diabetic patients and ensure them they get the best possible care.