If you have diabetes and live in or near Cape Girardeau, Perryville or Fredericktown, Missouri and have not yet had your eyes examined, do not wait, make an appoint now.   Early detection and management are essential to preserve your eyesight.   Doctors Brost and Strohmeyer have extensive experience in dealing with this condition.   Early detection followed with proper management is a must for preserving eyesight.

If you have diabetes you are at risk for diabetic eye disease.   Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems including diabetic retinopathy that people with diabetes may face as a complication of this disease.   All can cause severe vision loss and even blindness.

Diabetic eye disease has no warning signs.   Finding and treating the disease early, before it causes vision loss or blindness, is the best way to control diabetic eye disease.   If you have diabetes, make sure you get a dilated eye examination at least once a year.

Finding and treating the disease early, before it causes vision loss or blindness, is the best way to control diabetic eye disease.

Think of all the beautiful things you wouldn't see if you lost your sight.   If you have diabetes, get a dilated eye exam and keep your health on TRACK.   Call our offices to set up your appointment.

Staying on TRACK

Take your medications.
Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Add physical activity to your daily routine.
Control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Kick the smoking habit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes is a very serious disease that can cause problems such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputations.   But by taking good care of yourself through diet, exercise, and special medications, diabetes can be controlled.   And there is more good news.   Diabetic eye disease, a complication of diabetes, can be treated before vision loss occurs.   All people with diabetes need to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of this disease.   All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.

Diabetic eye disease includes:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: Damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
  • Cataract: Clouding of the lens of the eye.
  • Glaucoma: Increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision.

What is the most common diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic retinopathy. This disease is a leading cause of blindness in American adults.   It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.  In some people with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid.   In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.   These changes may result in vision loss or blindness.

What are its symptoms?

There are often no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.   There is no pain and vision may not change until the disease becomes severe.   Blurred vision may occur when the macula (the part of the retina that provides sharp, central vision) swells from the leaking fluid.  This condition is called macular edema.   If new vessels have grown on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye, blocking vision.   Even in more advanced cases, the disease may progress a long way without symptoms.   This symptomless progression is why regular eye examinations for people with diabetes are so important.

Who is most likely to get diabetic retinopathy?

Anyone with diabetes.   The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy.   Between 40-45 percent of those with diagnosed diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.

How is diabetic retinopathy detected?

If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined at least once a year.   Your eyes should be dilated during the exam, which means eyedrops are used to enlarge your pupils.   This dilation allows Doctors Brost or Strohmeyer to see more of the inside of your eyes to check for signs of the disease.

Can diabetic retinopathy be prevented?

Not totally, but your risk can be greatly reduced.   Clinical trials have shown that better control of blood sugar level slows the onset and progression of retinopathy and lessens the need for laser surgery for severe retinopathy.

The study also found that the group that tried to keep their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible also had much less kidney and nerve disease.   Ask your doctor if this program is right for you.

How common are the other diabetic eye diseases?

If you have diabetes, you are also at risk for other diabetic eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma.   People with diabetes develop cataracts at an earlier age than people without diabetes.   Cataracts can usually be treated by surgery.

A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.   And, as with diabetic retinopathy, the longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk of getting glaucoma.   Glaucoma may be treated with medications — if caught early.   If delayed, more extensive treatments such as laser surgery can become necessary.

 

Imagine How You Would See The World.
Normal vision
Normal vision
 
Same scene viewed by a person with diabetic retinopathy.

Imagine How You Would See the World

Normal Vision

Normal vision

Same scene viewed by a person with diabetic retinopathy.

Remember...

Diabetes is a disease that can cause very serious health problems.   If you have diabetes:

  • Know your ABCs: A1C (blood glucose), blood pressure (BP), and cholesterol numbers
  • Take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor
  • Monitor your blood sugar daily
  • Reach and stay at a healthy weight
  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Quit smoking

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