If you have diabetes, you probably concentrate on your blood sugars with testing during the day and the 90 day test at your doctor’s office called “hemoglobin A1c” but other aspects of your blood samples are important as well, including cholesterol levels.
A recent study, reported in the medical journal "Investigative Ophthalmology," took advantage of the advanced technology of optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans which allow us to visualize the layers of the back of the eye in the retina. This device is helpful for evaluating diabetic eye disease, among other uses. Almost 100 patients were included. Blood samples were drawn to measure cholesterol and hemoglobin A1c levels. OCT scans were obtained of the central retina.
The results showed that those with poorly managed cholesterol were more likely to have thickened retinas, an early sign of diabetic eye disease. Diabetes is a condition that can affect small blood vessels especially in the eyes, heart and kidneys. The result in the eyes is that the vessels become leaky, causing swelling and eventual blurred vision. Sometimes these problems are treated with lasers or injection into the eye but prevention is the key.
The bottom line is that diabetes is not just about blood sugars, cholesterol levels are also very important. If you or a family member has diabetes, remember that a thorough eye examination with dilating drops is suggested at least yearly. Call today if you have been putting off this very important aspect of your diabetic care. At Lakeshore Eye Care, we always send a report to the primary care physician of all our diabetic patients so they can be kept up-to-date on whether the diabetes has affected the eyes.
Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including cataract surgery, diabetic eye care, glaucoma treatment and much more. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.