Diabetic Eye Care

 

     At Vespa Vision Centre we provide all diagnostic services needed to monitor changes to your eyes as a result of diabetes. These services include OCT imaging, retinal photography, and visual field analysis. We welcome and encourage all patients with diabetes to have their yearly eye examinations.

 

     Diabetes can affect all tissues in the body, but in terms of the eyes it can increase the likelihood of bleeding and hemorrhaging within the sensory part of the eye (retina). The presence of this is termed diabetic retinopathy. If not monitored by an eye care practioner, diabetic retinopathy can cause devastating, irreversible vision loss. It is for this reason that Diabetes Canada and the Canadian Association of Optometrists recommend that diabetic patients be seen yearly for a comprehensive eye examination.

 

     There are multiple manifestations of diabetes within the eye. They are categorized based on severity. The major categories are Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR) and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR), with PDR being the more severe of the two. NPDR is split into categories of Mild, Moderate, and Severe. Regular retinal photography can aid in monitoring diabetic eye changes over the course of years.

 

    Another common manifestation of diabetic change within the eyes is known as Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). DME presents as an accummulation of fluid within the area of the retina known as the macula, which is responsible for our central vision. It is also the area with the potential of the most fine and detailed vision. OCT imaging is very helpful in tracking changes within the macula, due to its ability to take a cross sectional image of the macula at the level of microns.

 

   

Diabetic Retinopathy Categorization

Mild NPDR

 

     This is the earliest form of change to the eyes as a result of poor diabetic control. Many times this presentation does not require any further treatment. Stricter control of blood glucose levels is warranted when these findings are discovered within your eyes.

                                                                                  Moderate NPDR

 

     This is the next stage, and usually involves more signs of oxygen deprivation within the eye. Occasionally this stage of diabetic retinopathy does require treatment, but for the majority of the time it is monitored on a more frequent basis.

Severe NPDR

 

     This stage of diabetic retinopathy almost always requires treatment. This can be in the form of laser treatment or injections within the eye. The goal of these treatments is to prevent scarring of retinal tissue secondary to bleeding, which causes permanent vision reduction.

                            Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

 

      This is the worst possible stage of diabetic eye disease. Many patients that reach this category of diabetic retinopathy have some form of vision loss.

Diabetic Macular Edema

DME

 

     Many patients that present with decreased vision due to diabetes have a small amount of fluid accummulation in an area of the retina called the macula. OCT imaging is the technology of choice when monitoring changes within the macula, which is a cross sectional scan of the area. The photo to the left is of a macular scan of an eye affected by DME.

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