Retina specialist promotes eye exams during Diabetic Eye Awareness Month | Rare Techy
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. That includes diseases like retinopathy, which affects 1 in 15 diabetics and can lead to blindness.
It is the leading cause of blindness among working Americans between the ages of 20 and 65,” said Dr. Ming Lu says.
According to Lu, diabetes primarily affects the retina, the filmy part of the eye that has many blood vessels.
“If the blood sugar is too high, it’s not sweet, it’s toxic to the blood vessels,” says Lu.
He says that in the mild and moderate stages of the disease, the patient does not feel anything. Once the vision is blurred and a blood clot is seen floating in the eye — this is in an advanced stage and less damage has been done.
If they see bleeding that meets treatment criteria, he says, there are several procedures they can do to stop the progression of the disease.
“For example, if they leak or bleed out of focus, we can damage them with a laser. If the center is involved in focusing, we can inject drugs to stop the leakage and restore vision.
Karen Wood tells us she was struggling at work when the numbers she was trying to achieve faded.
If she has diabetes or high blood pressure, Dr. Lu asked her and she told him that she wanted to test her. This resulted not only in the diagnosis of diabetes, but also in the diagnosis of retinopathy.
At that moment she thought, “I have diabetes and I am going to die. I got this eye disease from diabetes that was going blind,” says Wood. “I thought, oh my God, I’m going to die and I’m going to go blind at the same time.”
She says the treatments are traumatic, but she does what she has to do to keep from going blind.
In finding the diagnosis before it is too late, Dr. They thank Lu.
“If it wasn’t for him, really, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’ll probably be blind, in my left eye for sure.”
Christus has 22 cameras throughout East Texas that they use to screen patients with diabetes.
People with diabetes should have an eye examination once a year. Lu recommends.
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