Diabetic & Near Sighted

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Diabetic & Near Sighted

Postby GeneralPatientInquiry » Sun Jun 04, 2006 2:23 pm

I am a diabetic and is near sighted is it possible for me to have laser eye surgery?
This post is a reprint of a previously requested inquiry received by USAEyes.org via email.
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Postby LasikExpert » Sun Jun 04, 2006 2:27 pm

If your diabetes is and has been controlled, if you show no signs of diabetic related retina disorder, and you are otherwise in good health, you should be able to consider laser eye surgery correction.

Diabetes alone does not automatically exclude you from refractive surgery, but if you also have diabetic retinopathy, you should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist who specializes in retina disease prior to refractive surgery.

Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in working age adults. It is a disease that affects the body’s ability to utilize sugar. As a consequence, high levels of sugar build up in the blood and tissues causing damage to the body’s organs. One of the most commonly affected organs is the eye; this is known as diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes damages the blood vessels that nourish the retina, it causes the retina vessels to sprout tiny leaks or microaneurysms that makes the surrounding retina swell and not work properly. Central vision can become blurred. However, once the diabetes is under control, vision usually returns to normal. Sometimes blurred vision can be the first symptom of diabetes and may lead to the initial diagnosis of the disease.

People with Type I diabetes, those requiring insulin to control their blood sugar, and patients with diabetes for many years, are at an increased risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. Poor control of the blood glucose, pregnancy, uncontrolled hypertension and smoking all aggravate diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed through a complete eye exam by an eye specialist. It is recommended that diabetic patients receive a dilated eye exam at least once a year. If diabetic retinopathy is discovered, the frequency of exams will be increased.

Basically there are two methods to treat diabetic retinopathy – medical (preventive) and surgery. The medical approach is having the diabetic patient take the initiative in monitoring blood sugar levels in addition to controlling their diabetes by eating right. This will significantly reduce the chances of developing diabetic retinopathy or at least slow the progression of the disease. Laser surgery is another way to treat the diseased eye. The laser light can focus onto the retina selectively treating the desired area without damaging surrounding tissue.

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