The Connection Between Diabetes and Vision Problems

The connection between diabetes and loss of vision has been well-established over the years. Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people world-wide. It develops when blood sugar levels are chronically high. Diabetes is a serious condition that causes vision loss as well as other health problems. If you have diabetes, talk to your eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA so that your eye doctor can be aware of the condition and be on the lookout for specific problems with your vision such as the following.

Increasingly Blurred Vision

Many people suffer with blurry vision at distances or close-up. This kind of blurry vision is caused by focus problems that can typically be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. But if you have diabetes and you notice that your vision is getting more blurry, book an eye doctor appointment. This could be a sign that your vision is deteriorating due to diabetes.

Cataracts

Diabetes is the main cause of blindness in adults aged between 20 and 74. One way that diabetes leads to blindness is from cataracts. Cataracts are growths that occur on the lens of the eyes. They cause the lens to become cloudy, impairing vision. Cataract removal in Hummelstown, PA is available. But if you have diabetes, make sure your eye doctor knows it, so they can give you information about the correlation between diabetes and cataracts.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is another serious eye problem that is much more prevalent in those who have diabetes. Glaucoma is a condition where pressure builds up within the eye, disrupting the brain’s signals from the optic nerve. Glaucoma almost always leads to blindness if it is left untreated. Every eye exam you receive at Kirman Eye in Hummelstown, PA will include a glaucoma test. The earlier this condition is diagnosed, the better the possible outcome.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that is specifically related to diabetes. People without diabetes would not develop this condition. With this condition, blindness will almost always happen eventually. Thankfully, diabetic can be stopped, but the symptoms may not always be able to be reversed, depending on how much nerve damage has already occurred.

Always inform your eye doctor of any underlying medical problems, especially diabetes. The more your eye doctor knows about your health, the better able they will be to protect your vision.

3 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Diabetic Retinopathy

With a diabetes diagnosis, you will face a few new health concerns as you get older. Diabetes is notorious for affecting the eyes, and may even lead to diabetic retinopathy. Within 20 years of having diabetes, over 60 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes have retinopathy. By getting proactive about your diagnosis and your visual health with diabetic eye exams in Hummelstown, you may be able to lower your risks. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, your general practitioner will go over your care plan and how you should keep tabs on your blood sugar levels. Most will recommend testing your blood sugar at least once daily, and usually more often. This gives you a good idea of how your body is processing sugar. When you see that your levels are too high, you will know that you need to adjust your diet.

Don’t skip your annual vision exams.

Once diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may recommend that you start seeing an eye doctor annually for a diabetic eye exam. This is to closely monitor any changes in your visual health, but also to point out problems that are just beginning that could be better addressed. If an eye doctor does see that you have signs of retinopathy, they may offer suggestions on how you can slow the progression of the condition.

Watch for any changes in your vision.

Changes in your vision can be a sign that either your blood sugar levels are unstable or some form of retinopathy has already begun. If you notice even slight changes in your vision, be sure to consult an eye doctor right away for medical advice. By catching issues early, you may be able to lower your risks of the condition either forming or progressing.

Talk to a Hummelstown Eye Doctor About Diabetes and Your Visual Health

An experienced Hummelstown eye doctor is the link between you and your diabetes and protecting visual health. If you have diabetes and are concerned about your vision, please reach out to us at Kirman Eye to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.

What to Expect During Your LipiFlow Treatment

Do you have dry eyes caused by meibomian gland dysfunction and don’t want to use eyedrops every day? If so, you might benefit from LipiFlow dry eye treatment. With help from your eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA, you can complete this FDA-approved treatment to gently remove the blockages in your glands and get relief from dry eyes. Ready to get started? Here’s what you can expect during LipiFlow treatment.

Get Anesthetic Eye Drops

Although LipiFlow doesn’t hurt, your dry eyes are probably already quite irritated. So, to avoid irritating them further, your treatment will start with anesthetic eye drops. These drops effectively numb the eye tissues, so you can rest comfortably while the device works it magic.

Place the LipiFlow Activator

After giving the anesthetic eye drops a little time to work, your eye doctor will have you lie back in the treatment chair, and then put the activator over your first eye. The activator looks like a small oval disc that comfortably fits right over your closed eye and gently hugs your upper and lower eyelids. There are wires that run from the outer surface of the activator over to the console.

Application of Gentle Heat

With the activator in place, your eye doctor can start the treatment. They’ll use the console to input your settings and turn on the activator. The device will then send gentle heat to your eyelids, helping break up the blockage in your meibomian glands in that eye.

After just a few minutes, you’ll have the treatment steps repeated for the other eye. For both eyes, the full treatment only takes about 12 minutes to complete from start to finish. You’ll likely notice results within a couple days, although it could take up to two full weeks.

Ready to Treat Your Dry Eyes with LipiFlow?

If you’d like to explore whether LipiFlow treatments in Hummelstown, PA, are right for you, just call our team at 717-566-3216. We’ll help you find a convenient time to come into our eyecare clinic and explore your care options. Your eye doctor will help you find the best treatment for your needs, and then provide all the care you need to find relief from dry eyes.

Troubled distressed bearded man keeps index fingers on temples to focuse, tries to concentrate on task, frowns and grimaces, has huge headache or migraine, bothered with painful disease, models indoor

How Concussion Can Impact Vision

Concussions are typically associated with sports injuries, vehicular accidents. As far as symptoms go, most people know that concussions can cause cognitive issues like loss of memory or even behavioral changes. But did you know that concussion can also impact vision? Learn more about the connection between concussion and vision.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is physical trauma to the brain. It’s caused by a physical impact that causes the brain to unnaturally move within the head. It may come about from a fall, blow to the head, bump or sudden back and forth movement, such as what occurs during a vehicle accident. Inside, the physical trauma may damage brain cells or cause a chain reaction of chemical changes that affect the vision or other bodily processes. Note that concussion is a serious injury that always requires emergency eye services in Hummelstown, PA.

How Concussion Can Impact Vision

If you or someone you know has incurred a head injury with concussion, it’s essential that you seek medical attention right away. Concussion can lead to vision loss on a mild or serious basis. The worst concussions can even cause permanent blindness. The optic nerve is responsible for sending vision signals to the brain for interpretation. When the brain is damaged due to concussion, the signals received from the eyes through the optic nerve may be hindered or stopped.

Symptoms of Post-Concussion Vision Problems

Your eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA will be able to diagnose any vision problems that you may have after experiencing a concussion. Primarily, the symptoms you experience may include:

  • Headaches, either chronic or sustained
  • Problems focusing on near or distant images
  • Vertigo
  • Seeing double
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line

If you have any difficulties with your vision after suffering a head trauma, contact your Hummelstown, PA eye doctor for immediate attention.

It’s important to note that concussion may affect different people in different ways. If you do experience head trauma, you may not have symptoms for several days, or you may have immediate symptoms. Either way, if your vision is impacted, see your Hummelstown, PA eye doctor right away.

Please feel free to contact us with any vision questions following a diagnosed concussion or head trauma. We offer emergency eye care services in Hummelstown, PA.

What are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are an alternative form of contact lenses for people who are unable to wear traditional contact lenses for one reason or another. Your Hummelstown, PA eye doctor can help to determine if scleral lenses are an appropriate choice for your individual circumstances. Scleral lenses are different from regular contact lenses in the way they are shaped, their size, and the way they operate while in place on your eyes.

What are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are not contact lenses. Contact lenses rest atop the cornea, while scleral lenses vault over the top of the cornea. Hence, regular contact lenses make contact with the cornea; scleral lenses do not. The outer perimeter of scleral lenses rests gently on the whites of the eyes. In so doing, the scleral lens creates a perfectly smooth and rounded surface, which enables clear and focused vision.

Special Feature of Scleral Lenses

Since scleral lenses vault over the cornea of the eyes without making contact, it also creates a small cavity between the surface of the cornea and the inside top of the scleral lens. Fluid from the eyes builds up in this cavity to create a kind of reservoir. This is a special feature of scleral lenses that helps to treat the condition known as dry eyes. For this reason, scleral lenses are often recommended for dry eyes sufferers. Your eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA will let you know if you have dry eyes and if scleral lenses might work for you.

What Conditions Are Scleral Lenses Good For?

Besides dry eyes, there are other conditions that scleral lenses are particularly good for. Some people suffer with keratoconus. This is a condition where the shape of the eye is irregular and hard or impossible to fit with regular contact lenses. Scleral lenses are also commonly prescribed for those who have had a corneal transplant for any reason, Stevens-Johnson syndrome or complications with laser eye surgery.

Scleral lenses have been in use since the early 1900’s and they are a widely used alternative to regular contact lenses. Their practical use ranges from simple treatment for dry eyes to enabling people to wear lenses who otherwise would be unable to. Ask your eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA about scleral lenses to see if they are a good fit for you.

 

Are You at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Around the planet, there are nearly 200 million individuals thought to be living with macular degeneration. This common age-related eye disease can lead to problems with your vision and blindness in the most severe cases. Here is a look at some of what you may want to know about macular degeneration.

Getting to Know the Typical Risks of Macular Degeneration

Primarily, macular degeneration is considered an age-related condition. The breakdown of the optic nerve can be the result of the aging process for some individuals, especially those over 50 years old. However, there are a number of other risks associated with macular degeneration, including:

  • Being a smoker or being around secondhand smoke for much of your life
  • Not following the healthiest diet
  • Being diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease
  • A family history of people with macular degeneration

When to Talk to the Eye Doctor About Macular Degeneration

It is good to be screened for macular degeneration if you believe you are at risk or if you are over the age of 50. However, speaking to the eye doctor is also important if you believe you have symptoms of macular degeneration no matter what your risks may be. Some symptoms include:

  • Distorted vision
  • Wavy lines in your vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty with recognizing common objects or faces
  • Changes in your center-focused vision

Testing and Diagnosis

A number of tests may be performed by your eye doctor in order to test you for macular degeneration. The initial test may involve dilating your pupils with special drops and then looking into the back of the eye for drusen, which can be more prevalent in the eyes of someone with macular degeneration. However, the eye doctor will likely perform a series of vision tests and tests using various instruments before making a proper diagnosis.

Talk to an Eye Doctor in Hummelstown About Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a worrisome condition because it can affect your visual performance. However, with an early diagnosis and the proper attention from an eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA, the progression of the condition could potentially be slowed. If you believe you are at risk for macular degeneration, reach out to us at Kirman Eye to schedule an appointment.