Diabetes is a disease that requires lifelong control. Stating that diabetes can affect the whole body as well as the eye, Ophthalmology Specialist Op. Dr. Yusuf Avni Yılmaz said, “There are people who have diabetes and have not experienced any eye problems for years, as well as people who have serious eye and vision problems due to the effects of diabetes. At the beginning, patients may not feel any complaints, although eye problems due to diabetes begin.
Emphasizing that the damage in the eye is significantly advanced when patients feel that the complications of diabetes are related to the complications, Op. Dr. Yusuf Avni Yılmaz said, “If these problems are followed closely at the initial stage and appropriate treatments are applied when necessary, permanent vision damage can be prevented to a great extent. The only way to do this is through regular eye exams of patients diagnosed with diabetes. Every person with diabetes should have regular eye exams at least twice a year, even if they do not have a visual complaint. If a problem is detected in the examinations, a road map should be drawn accordingly ”he warned.
Eye Diseases Specialist Op. Dr. Yusuf Avni Yılmaz shared important information about common eye problems in diabetic patients, glaucoma, cataract and retinopathy diseases and their treatments:
Glaucoma is known as eye pressure. Glaucoma is seen about twice as often in diabetic patients than in non-diabetic patients. Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma is the most important factor in preventing permanent vision damage. Various treatment options are available for glaucoma depending on the patient’s condition, including medication, laser treatments, and surgery.
Cataract is an eye disease that causes clouding, characterized by the dullness of the lens located just behind the pupil, known as the pupil. Although its frequency increases with age, it is more common in diabetic patients compared to non-diabetic patients. Its treatment is surgery.
As the name suggests, diabetic retinopathy is a number of disorders that develop in the retina layer of the eye due to diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy should be examined in 3 categories.
1) Non-proliferative retinopathy is the initial stage of diabetic retinopathy. Here, bleeding has started behind the eyes, but it does not pose a major problem yet. Prevention of vision loss is one of the most important situations by following the patients at this stage closely and applying their treatments when necessary. Since patients do not have visual complaints during this period, they are usually recognized by physicians during routine eye examination.
2) Macular edema, on the other hand, is a condition that reduces vision considerably due to the accumulation of fluid in the area where the visual receptor cells are concentrated in the retina center. In parallel with the increase in edema, vision decreases, and when the edema decreases, vision improves. However, if the edema continues for a long time, the vision may not improve at the same rate even if the edema is reduced with treatment. Therefore, if this condition is detected, treatment should be applied quickly.
3) Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is one of the most serious eye problems of diabetes. New vessels are formed on the retina due to circulatory disorders in the retinal layer. These veins are not as healthy as the true veins of the retina. They are fragile and prone to bleeding. If these retinal hemorrhages fill the eye, vision may disappear completely and highly critical surgeries may be required. In addition, these circulatory disorders and bleeding in the retina can cause highly problematic and difficult to control types of glaucoma. This can cause not only vision problems, but also pain in the eyes that are difficult to control.
Treatments related to the effects of diabetes on retinopathy can be divided into 3 groups as laser treatments, intraocular injections and vitrectomy surgeries.