Diabetes Specialist

Kuriachan Eye Institute

Vipin P. Kuriachan, MD

Ophthalmologist & Eye Surgeon located in Irving, TX

Nearly 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, a chronic condition that impacts your body’s blood sugar levels. A common complication of diabetes is eye damage, called diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your eye health closely to prevent irreversible vision loss. Vipin Kuriachan, MD and his team at Kuriachan Eye Institute in Irving, Texas can help. Call to make an eye exam appointment, or book online today.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that develops when your blood sugar, or glucose, is too high. Your body converts the glucose from the food you eat into energy for your cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. 

If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process glucose, or the insulin doesn’t work as it should. When the glucose can’t be converted into energy for your body, it builds up in your blood and elevates your blood sugar level.

Diabetes is a serious condition that can cause a variety of other complications, including nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, and eye damage.

What is diabetic eye disease?

People with diabetes are at increased risk for a variety of eye conditions, known as diabetic eye disease. Conditions included in diabetic eye disease include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Diabetic macular edema
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma

High blood sugar levels in people with diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the back of your eyes over time. Symptoms of damage may not be noticeable at first, but all of these conditions can cause significant vision loss or blindness.

If you have diabetes, regular eye exams that include full eye dilation are quite important to identify any changes early.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye-related complication of diabetes, and it’s a leading cause of blindness for American adults. Diabetic retinopathy develops when the blood vessels in your retina are damaged. 

Diabetic retinopathy may not show any symptoms at first, which is why it’s important to manage diabetes and get regular eye exams. As the condition progresses, you may experience:

  • Floaters, or spots or strings floating across your vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Faded color vision
  • Dark or blank spots in your vision
  • Changes in vision

How is diabetic eye disease treated?

With diabetic eye damage, identifying conditions early increases the success of treatment. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema can both be treated with laser surgery. For glaucoma and cataracts, surgery can correct vision and prevent further damage. 

Yearly eye exams are critical for people with diabetes. Dr. Kuriachan evaluates your vision and eye health with the help of eye dilation. During dilation, he uses eye drops to widen your pupils, so he can look at the backs and insides of your eyes. Managing your diabetes can help prevent or slow diabetic eye disease.

If you have diabetes, don’t wait to schedule an eye exam, call Kuriachan Eye Institute, or book your first appointment online today.