Can Diabetic Eye Problems Be Reversed?

Can Diabetic Eye Problems Be Reversed?

Diabetes is an increasingly major cause of eye problems including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, muscle problems, and retinal detachments. The underlying cause of each of these can be related to the increase blood sugar levels which are associated with poorly controlled diabetes. As these problems become more prevalent, the treatment options have expanded, and many can be reversed or improved through treatment and lifestyle changes.


How Diabetes Impacts the Eyes

Diabetes results in changes in the eyes when the blood sugar level remains high for an extended period of time as the body cannot break down and store glucose appropriately.

After time, this can lead to damage to the blood vessels themselves and result in weakening of the blood vessel walls.

In diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels in the eyes may break and have blood leak out due to this weakening.

Other problems may result from the interruption of blood supply due to this type of rupture or blockage including a stroke which impairs the muscles controlling the eye movements.


Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Problems

Any time there are changes to vision or the eyes, especially in a diabetic patient, a comprehensive eye examination should be performed to identify the source of the changes.

In addition to an eye examination, brain imaging may be helpful if the root cause of the issue is a blockage in blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord.


Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Problems

There are a wide range of symptoms that can be related to a diabetic eye problem. Things ranging from blurred vision over time to sudden double vision or loss of vision can all be related to diabetes.

Given the variety of presentations, it is important to discuss all symptoms with your eye doctor and seek care quickly when a new symptom presents.


Treatment for Diabetic Eye Problems

Once there is a diagnosis made and the cause of an eye problem is identified as being related to the diabetes, treatment can begin.

Almost all treatment protocols will include some amount of lifestyle modification or systemic disease management alongside a primary care doctor to attempt to prevent additional problems both in the eyes and in the rest of the body from the diabetes.

Specific treatment for the eyes may also include injections of medication into the eye, surgical repair or treatment, or prescribing different glasses.


Can Diabetic Eye Problems Be Reversed

With the appropriate treatment and systemic management of the blood sugar, most of the changes from diabetes can be reversed.

While some changes – such as cataract formation or a retinal detachment – are not reversible and will require medical attention to improve the condition, other problems are manageable with good blood sugar control.

Your eye doctor will likely want to monitor you closely to watch for any changes or worsening symptoms while the blood sugar stabilizes, and any eye problems are improved over time.

Once the problem has been reversed or resolved, your eye doctor and primary care doctor will work together to determine the best course of action moving forward.


Dr. Jorge Malouf and the staff of the Malouf Eye specialize in a variety of ophthalmologic conditions and treatments including cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, strabismus surgery, neuro-ophthalmology exams, oculoplastics, diabetes and more.  Call our ophthalmologist in Tampa, FL today at 813-798-2020 if you are interested in learning more about if diabetic eye problems be reversed.  Our eye doctor provides only the highest quality eye care and surgical services amongst eye doctors in the Tampa, Florida area.