Diabetic retinopathy is a very common complication of diabetes. The development of diabetic retinopathy increases with the number of years a patient has had diabetes. As we all get older, the chances of cataract formation increases.
Having diabetic retinopathy and cataracts at the same time presents some unique problems. Vision loss may be due to both diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. We prefer the diabetic retinopathy be treated and/or under control before cataract surgery is performed.
Causes of Blurry Vision
Cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and uncontrolled blood sugar can all cause the same symptom of blurry vision. Complete dilated eye examination can often distinguish how much each is affecting vision and can determine if cataract surgery is warranted.
In more difficult situations, where the diabetic retinopathy may be causing blurry vision, consultation with a retina specialist may be necessary. Our retina specialist, Dr. Vincent Sardi, recommends treating diabetic retinopathy and controlling blood sugar before cataract surgery is performed.
When the diabetic retinopathy is treated and the blood sugar is normalized before cataract surgery, the visual results after cataract surgery improve significantly.
Regular Eye Exams
If you have diabetes, the best way to insure that you maintain excellent vision is to have regular eye exams – whether you have blurry vision or not.
We follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Optometry in recommending at least annual exams for every patient with diabetes, regardless of symptoms.
As diabetic retinopathy develops or cataracts progress, we can best maximize your vision with early diagnosis and treatment, if needed. Treating diabetic retinopathy is easiest and most successful when the disease is caught early.
When complications arise from your diabetes, we will coordinate with your primary care physician and/or endocrinologist to arrive at the best treatment plan for your eyes before considering cataract surgery.
We look forward to seeing you. If you would like to make an appointment or if you have questions about diabetes or cataracts, please call us.