Each year, November 14th is recognized as World Diabetes Day. IDF and the World Health Organization created World Diabetes Day in 2011 in response to escalating health issues surrounding diabetes and diabetic eye diseases.
Diabetic eye disease describes a group of eye conditions that include diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, diabetic macular edema and cataracts. DR is often reported as the most common form of diabetic eye disease. It is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), afflicting one third of all people with the disease, and it is the leading cause of blindness among the working population in the world. Over 40% of patients diagnosed with diabetes eventually develop some level of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Regular vision care is an important part of diabetes management.. DR affects the tiny blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eyes. In the less severe form of DR, blood vessels swell and leak small amounts of blood and fluid into the eye. Vision may be unaffected, giving no clue to the presence of disease. Untreated, this mild form of DR can progress leading to macular ischemia, in which capillaries in the macula close and cause blurred vision. More advanced DR causes macular edema, which results in the swelling of the macula leading to the potential of complete vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy may have no outward signs but can quickly progress to complete vision loss. Doctors will often recommend those with type 1 or 2 diabetes undergo a comprehensive eye exam once a year, or even more often if there are signs of DR.
optomap® imaging has been shown to improve management of diabetes in patients. optomap images capture a 200° view (about 82%) of the retina versus the 75° view provided by 7SF images. Studies have shown that this wider view can uncover evidence of disease that’s outside the narrow view of 7SF images. It can even change how doctors judge the severity of disease.
Evidence of disease at the periphery of the retina can also be a sign of future problems. One study found that patients with peripheral DR lesions were more than four times more likely to see their DR get worse as compared to patients without lesions.
In cases of diabetic eye diseases and further complications, early detection is key. optomap can help doctors to better monitor and facilitiate decision making reagarding treatment. Visit our website to find a doctor in your area utilizing optomap today.