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Diabetes: Know the Facts about Cataracts!

As we bid farewell to November, which marks American Diabetes Month and emphasizes the prevention of diabetes-related health issues, let's reflect on the importance of prioritizing our vision health. Diabetes can have detrimental effects on eyesight, highlighting the significance of scheduling annual eye exams. It's important to be mindful of potential vision problems linked to eye diseases, including the early stages of cataract development.

A Clear Understanding

Dr. Brent Kramer, an ophthalmologist at Vance Thompson Vision specializing in cataracts and cataract surgery, shares the following information for people affected by diabetes:

  • It’s important to monitor your blood sugar, blood pressure, vision changes, and retina health. Doing this is not only critical to your overall body health, but eye health as well.
  • Everyone will develop cataracts—it’s part of the natural aging process. However, high blood sugar levels can cause structural changes in the lens of the eye that can accelerate this development. This is why people affected by diabetes are often diagnosed with cataracts at a younger age.
  • Having diabetes poses no additional risk factors that will affect your actual cataract surgery.
  • Managing diabetes requires a team approach. Vance Thompson Vision works closely with you and your primary doctors to ensure your diabetes is managed appropriately prior to having cataract surgery.

Before, During and After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a simple outpatient procedure that will improve blurry, cloudy vision with little downtime. Here is what you can expect:

  • Before surgery, the team at Vance Thompson Vision conducts a thorough eye exam including a 3D scan of your retina to check your vision and eye health.
  • On the day of surgery, we monitor your blood sugar to make sure it’s safe to proceed. Toward the end of your lens replacement procedure, we often place medicine in the eye that increases your chance of a full and smooth recovery.
  • Following surgery, medicated eye drops help heal the eye. You may choose to use one drop that contains all necessary medications over using three individual drops.

Please note that patients affected by diabetes have an increased risk of developing swelling of the retina in the months following cataract surgery. It’s important that you attend follow-up appointments even if you have no negative symptoms.

Specialized Cataract Care

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries performed. While complications are rare, the risks following surgery are higher for people with diabetes. This is why you should trust your cataract surgery to experts who treat the whole eye. The team at Vance Thompson Vision has expertise in caring for the cornea, where cataracts form, as well as the retina, located behind the eye. This comprehensive, world-class eye care will help you see more clearly.