Diabetes and Related Eye Diseases

Those Living with Diabetes Are Three Times More Concerned about Losing Vision than Possible Side Effect of Kidney Failure

 More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and another 84 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults. As prevalent as the condition is, 79 percent of Americans don’t know diabetic eye diseases have no visible symptoms and more than half do not know comprehensive eye examinations can detect diabetes, according to a recent American Eye-Q® Survey conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA).

“In 2016, doctors of optometry identified diabetes-related manifestations in more than 320,000 patients who were unaware they had diabetes, leading to prompt diagnoses and care, which minimizes the risk of complications,” said Lindsey Clyde, O.D., an eye doctor at Valley Eyecare Center in Phoenix, AZ. “A comprehensive eye examination with a doctor of optometry is important not just to maintain eye and vision health but can be a first line of diagnosis for many systemic diseases.”

During November’s Diabetes Awareness Month, the AOA and Valley Eyecare Center are committed to educating the public about the relationship between diabetes and eye health, as the Eye-Q survey shows that after learning about the topic many participants said they would be prompted to take steps to ensure their eye health. The AOA advocates for regular, comprehensive eye exams for those with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, because the alternatives, like online vision apps, only check for refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and cannot detect diabetes.

“During a comprehensive eye exam including Optomap scan, dilation, or both, your eye doctor is able to examine the retina for signs of diabetic eye disease and prescribe a course of treatment to help preserve an individual’s sight,” Dr. Lindsey Clyde said. “Many eye problems show no symptoms until they are in an advanced stage, but early detection and treatment can truly save a person’s vision. No online app can do that.”

For additional resources, visit http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/diabetic.htm.

To schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Eye Care and Diabetes

eye-careYour eye care is related to your overall health. If you have diabetes, your eye care routine may be different from typical eye care routines, as problems related to diabetes can affect your vision. Learn more about how to keep your overall health and your eye health in optimal condition if you have diabetes.

Eye Care Routines for Those with Diabetes

Schedule regular appointments—Did you know that high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your eyes? This high blood sugar, which is associated with diabetes, can lead to an eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy.

Have your cholesterol levels under control—You have two types of cholesterol: the good (HDL) and the bad (LDL). Too much of the bad cholesterol can lead to blood vessel damage, which can be harmful to your eye care, as a blood vessel could pop in your eyes.

Eat well—Make sure that you get enough of your daily recommended food groups—fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and grains. If your diet is becoming an issue, be sure to make an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician so that you can eat right for your body.

Exercise regularly—Of course, working out is great for your mind and body, as it helps you to become a healthier person. However, if rigorous work outs are too much for you, make sure to remain active in other ways. This can include taking a walk throughout the day or even running errands, as you often have to walk or move around to accomplish daily tasks.

Keeping up with your eye care routine includes being healthy every day. To learn more about how diabetes can affect your eye care, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Get An Eye Exam During Men’s Health Month!

Eye_examWhile studies show that women are more likely to develop eye health issues than men, it’s still crucial for men to remember the importance of properly taking care of their eyes and getting a yearly eye exam—especially during National Men’s Health Month! Find out why eye exams are important.

Detect Corrective Needs

Even if it seems that your sight is 20/20, only an optometrist can confirm whether you need a prescription or not. Also, even if you already have prescription glasses or contact lenses, you still need to get your eyes checked. Your eyes change as you age so it is important to monitor any corrective needs through regular eye exams.

Detect Eye Health Problems

Regular eye exams help prevent vision problems before they occur! Don’t assume that your eyes are great because they are not showing any symptoms of a health condition. Many common eye problems actually do not show any symptoms until well after they’re developed. Through an eye exam, your optometrist can detect disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts at an early stage, which can increase the chance of a successful treatment.

Detect General Health Problems

Did you know that eye health is connected to overall health and well-being? Through eye exams, an optometrist can detect more than eye problems; they can also uncover signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure—making eye exams arguably as important as annual physicals.

Our eyes are one of the most important parts of our bodies—especially when it comes to living our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, they are very fragile and can easily be damaged. Take advantage of National Men’s Health Month and schedule your eye exam with Valley Eyecare Center today!

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists, visit our website.


Diabetes and Eye Health

Eye CareDiabetes can result in eye health complications, so knowing ways to care for your eyes can help you through the struggle. Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, and non-proliferative and proliferative retinopathy. Keep reading to understand the different types of eye complications and find out how to maintain eye care, and how to prevent major problems.



Although not always occurring due to diabetes, cataracts can be difficult to avoid while being diabetic. In fact, many people who are diabetic develop cataracts at a very young age and the issue only escalates from that point. To treat this, the option to have surgery is most definitely available, however, you can prevent cataracts from worsening by protecting your eyes from the sun as much as possible.


Much like developing cataracts, people with diabetes have a risk of having Glaucoma—the older they get, the bigger the risk. Due to Glaucoma, vision progressively weakens as damage is caused to the retina and nerves in the eye. Treatments for this eye health condition range from prescription medicine to surgery.

Non-proliferative and Proliferative Retinopathy

Directly caused by diabetes, non-proliferative retinopathy causes a build-up of blood in the capillaries of the eye clogging up blood vessels. In proliferative retinopathy, the blood vessels, being severely blocked off, eventually close up completely. However, new vessels grow in place of the fallen vessels, but are not as reliable. There are a plethora of options in regards to treatment of retinopathy such as photocoagulation and vitrectomy, which could prevent any further eye complications.

For more information about diabetes and eye health or to schedule an appointment with us, contact either of our locations or visit our website. Our staff at Valley Eyecare Center will be happy to answer all your questions and help you get the right treatment.

Eye Health and Diabetes

Eye HealthWhile every month is a good time to focus on eye health, November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month. Diabetes ravages the body in many ways, and could have a serious impact on your sight. Many diabetic patients are not aware of the possibility that they could lose their vision. If you or someone you love suffers from diabetes, here are some of the eye troubles you should know about.


For diabetic patients, controlling blood glucose (sugar) levels carefully is key to overall health, and therefore ocular health. High blood glucose causes swelling in the soft tissues and vessels of the eye. This swelling contributes to a multitude of eye problems that may ultimately lead to blindness. Diabetic complication is a common cause of blindness in adults, however it is preventable.

Diabetic Retinopathy

The retina converts light entering the eye into a signal, which is what the brain “sees” as an image. In a case of diabetic retinopathy, this component is flawed, usually due to damage to the tiny blood vessels of the eye. An annual eye exam is a critical tool in catching and preventing permanent damage. An advanced case may lead to permanent blindness. Blood pressure control is especially important for a diabetic patient to reduce risk of retinopathy, as well as abstaining from smoking.


A surprising majority of aging adults will develop cataracts, where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or discolored. Low-light conditions can be very challenging if you have cataracts, so night-time driving is dangerous. Diabetic patients can be more prone to developing cataracts in addition to other eye health issues. Fortunately, cataracts are treatable with laser surgery.


Glaucoma occurs when pressure inside the eye rises, causing damage to the optic nerve. This could occur very suddenly or develop over time. Due to the swelling of soft tissues that may happen with diabetes, glaucoma is much more prevalent for diabetic patients. Catching this problem early can help prevent permanent vision loss.

Patients with diabetes face many challenges, including serious eye health issues. The best way to protect your sight are to keep your blood sugar under control, and have an annual eye exam so your optometrist can spot problems in their earliest stages.

Does Diabetes Affect Vision?

Eye_DoctorsIt’s unfortunate, but if you have diabetes, it means you’re at a significantly elevated risk of some forms of vision problems.  It’s important for diabetics to maintain regular visits to their eye doctors, because their vision is more likely than most to degrade as the years go by.

In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people between ages 20 and 74.  Largely speaking, however, true blindness only threatens those who aren’t properly managing their disease.  Like other elements of diabetes, proper care minimizes risks to your vision.

Diabetic Vision Problems Your Eye Doctors Can Diagnose

The largest vision problem stemming from diabetes is swelling in the eyeball, due to increased amounts of glucose.  Patients with unbalanced blood sugar may experience temporary vision blurring, which goes away when their levels balance.

Cataracts are one of the biggest concerns.  Patients with diabetes get them earlier, and they’re often thicker.  They’re caused by damage to the eyeball as it swells and contracts with blood sugar levels.

That said, corrective surgery is pretty much the same in all cases, although there is also greater chance of future cataracts.

Glaucoma is the other vision problem most commonly associated with diabetes.  It develops due to fluid buildup within the eye, behind the iris, which throws off a person’s ability to focus.

Glaucoma is 100% treatable, and usually just with medication.  Although, in severe cases, draining the fluid may also be needed.

Finally, retinoplasty is the third major form of eye disease that commonly comes from diabetes.  It is also in many ways the most serious, because if it’s not caught early, it absolutely can lead to blindness.

The swelling that diabetes causes extends to blood vessels as well, and sufficient pressure can cause blood vessels at the back of the eye to burst, hemorrhaging blood into the eyeball.  Usually it starts small, with microscopic blood vessels and tiny amounts of blood.  Left untreated, larger vessels burst, and  it can ruin an eye.  Or both.

Proper management of blood sugar reduces the risk significantly.  Those with daily insulin shots, or insulin pumps, are 50%-75% less likely to develop retinoplasty.  Their chances of other diabetes-related vision problems decrease as well.

Do Your Eye Doctors Know About Your Diabetes?

If not, this is the time to tell them.  Diabetics are at higher risk of a range of vision problems, making this crucial information to your Phoenix Optometrist.