Diabetic Eye Problem Prevention Key to Avoiding Vision Loss for Houston Seniors

Top Quote November marks American Diabetes Month and "Seniors with diabetes are at considerably greater risk of eye problems," commented Houston Ophthalmologist Bernard Milstein, M.D. End Quote
  • Houston, TX (1888PressRelease) October 30, 2014 - Ophthalmologists at The Eye Clinic of Texas wish to highlight the increasing need for seniors in particular to understand and work toward preventing vision loss from diabetic eye problems. "Diabetes affects a stunning number of seniors. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control seniors are particularly affected with almost 11 million or 27% of U.S. residents aged 65 years and older having diabetes. What our seniors need to know is that diabetes is a major risk factor for cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy-all of which have an increased risk profile with increasing age," stated Dr. Milstein.

    Dr. Da-Thuy Van stressed, "Yes-we have many effective treatment options using lasers for diabetic retina problems, injections such as Lucentis® and Eyelea® and of course cataract surgery and lens implants. But, these diabetic eye diseases can be prevented and their progression can be slowed through early detection and diligent diabetes care. Careful diabetes management is the best way to prevent vision loss," she said.

    The Eye Clinic of Texas advises diabetic patients to follow some straight forward guidelines and steps to help prevent and avoid vision loss from diabetes and detect and diagnose diabetic retinopathy and its complications as early as possible:

    Get a Yearly Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam
    In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy often has no symptoms. A yearly dilated eye exam allows us to examine the retina and optic nerve more thoroughly for signs of damage before changes in vision occur. Regularly monitoring eye health allows us to begin treatment as soon as possible if signs of diabetic eye disease-cataracts, glaucoma and especially diabetic retinopathy-do appear. "In particular we want to alert women with diabetes who become pregnant that they may need additional eye exams throughout their pregnancy, as pregnancy can sometimes worsen diabetic retinopathy," said Dr. Van.

    Maintain Normal Blood Glucose Levels
    High blood glucose damages the tiny blood vessels in the eyes-called microangiopathy. This damage can result in swelling in the retina including a common diabetic vision problem called diabetic macular edema, as well as the formation of abnormal fragile blood vessels that can bleed and form scar tissue in the vitreous and retina. Also, high blood glucose levels are not good for the crystalline of your eyes. "Elevated blood sugar can change the shape of lens causing blurry vision and can lead to cataract development," explained Dr. Milstein.

    Maintain Normal Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Levels
    High blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase the risk of eye disease and vision loss. Keeping both under control will help the eyes as well as overall health.

    Quit Smoking
    "Diabetics who smoke are absolutely at greater risk for diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma," noted Allan Fradkin, M.D. "Further, we also know that smoking increases your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD)-and that's just the eye disease risk. There is a great deal more overall vascular risk including heart disease and stroke associated with smoking."

    Get Regular Exercise
    Even getting just mild exercise helps to maintain blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and stay healthy. We know that mild to moderate exercise is helpful in reducing the risk of many eye diseases and problems," said Dr. Fradkin.

    Incidence & Risks of Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy
    The risks of diabetes and diabetic eye problems-especially diabetic retinopathy-are somewhat magnified in our greater Houston area due to the ethnic population base. Diabetes affects more than 26 million people or over 8% of the U.S. population and diabetic retinopathy-which is the cause of the most severe vision loss-affects approximately 7.7 million Americans with more than 4 million, or over 28% of people with diabetes aged 40 years or older have diabetic retinopathy. Of these, some 650-700,000 or almost 4% of all diabetics have advanced diabetic retinopathy that can result in severe vision loss. Diabetic eye disease continues to be the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20 to 74 years of age. Most threatening for our greater Houston population is that diabetic retinopathy is more than twice as common in Mexican Americans and nearly three times as common in African Americans as in non-Hispanic whites.

    The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

    To learn more about The Eye Clinic of Texas you may visit or

    For additional information, contact:
    Amy Trittel, The Eye Clinic of Texas, 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550, atrittel ( @ ) ecot dot com, 1-800-423-3937

    SOURCE: Medical Management Services Group, L.L.C.

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