Diabetes places your eyes at additional risk for eye diseases unique to those living with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME) are the two most well known of the four diseases grouped under the “diabetic eye disease” label.
These eye diseases often begin asymptomatic, meaning that they do not present obvious symptoms (such as pain) that would alert you to their development.
Glaucoma, for example, is called the “silent thief of sight” because of how it causes tunnel vision in many people before they notice it.
Annual eye exams ensure that you are well-informed of your eye health, and that you are proactive in managing any new developments.
Sight lost to diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, and glaucoma cannot be restored. Sight lost to cataracts can often be restored via cataract removal surgery.
If it has been more than a year since your last eye exam, schedule an appointment to have Dr. Dittman or Dr. Nock examine your eyes.
More Information About Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy is common among people who have lived with diabetes for 20 years or more, with nearly 80% of those people developing some form of retinopathy.
It is important to maintain your blood sugar at ideal levels. When blood sugar levels elevate for extended periods of time, the capillaries in the retina are damaged. This causes the blood vessels to become weak and die, leaking fluids, and promoting the development of DME.
Diabetic retinopathy has four main stages of development:
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) – New, weak blood vessels are growing in the retina and inside the vitreous. As these weak blood vessels die, they leave behind scar tissue. The scar tissue often peels from the retina, and can actually cause a retinal detachment (the result of which is total blindness).
Diabetic macular edema takes on two forms (focal DME, which occurs because of problems in the eye, and diffuse DME, which occurs when the capillaries in the retina begin to swell).
What Causes DME?
Diabetic macular edema develops in people that also have diabetic retinopathy. As blood vessels within the retina swell, this restricts blood flow to the retina. These swollen blood vessels often leak fluids, causing vision impairment (hazy, blurry vision, floaters, double vision).
We will work with you to manage your retinopathy/DME, though there is no direct cure for either disease. Controlling your blood sugar levels through lifestyle influences is an important part in preventing vision loss to retinopathy/DME.
Laser treatments and anti-VEGF therapies are effective at treating DME. Learn more about DME here.
The Office Staff is great and they are willing to take care of their patients. I had an emergency appointment and Dr. Nock drove in to see me, which is really great and saved me the time of trying to find another person that could see.
I want to thank all the staff once again I was treated wonderful by all. I have been a patient of Dr. Dittmans for several years and never have I been treated anything but with the utmost respect by all. So thank you very much.
I love Dittman eye care have been going there for many years and am always treated with respect and a smile from the staff and Dr. Dittman is a great doctor he takes the time he needs for his patients I cant imagine going any where else for my eye care needs
Had a great expiereance while there. The girls are very informative with what they told me about my eyes and Dr. Nock is a good eye doctor and really cares about my eyes. Thank you from Mary and Don McClain.
My first visit was excellent. I appreciated all the time taken from several members in choosing new frames. My exam was very informative and not rushed. I was completely satisfied.
Thank you for being a valued patient at Dittman Eyecare. Unfortunately, as you most likely already know the governor of PA, Tom Wolf mandated all non-life sustaining businesses close their doors immediately. As eye care providers that means we are allowed to only to take care of ocular emergencies.
As of now here are our plans:
At Dittman Eyecare we want you to know that we thank you for trusting us with your eye care needs. We also wish everyone stays healthy and keeps a positive mindset in these trying days, and we look forward to when we can open our doors and go back to business as usual!
Please reach out to us if any questions.