Dr. Ming Wang was recently interviewed for a U.S. News & World Report article on diabetes and eye care.
Read an excerpt of the article below from health.usnews.com:
If your diabetes is uncontrolled for a long period, you could develop eye conditions that can lead to blindness.
“The excess sugar in the blood affects the walls of blood vessels throughout the body,” says Dr. Ming Wang of Wang Vision Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. “The smallest blood vessels in the body have the thinnest walls and are affected first. Because the eyes have some of the smallest blood vessels in the body, they are often one of the first systems affected.”
One of the most common problems that can happen over time is diabetic retinopathy. “Diabetic retinopathy occurs as a result of changes to the retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid,” says Dr. Lama A. Al-Aswad, an associate professor of ophthalmology and director of the Tele-Ophthalmology Initiative and Glaucoma Fellowship at The Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City. “In addition, bad vessels can develop that can leak, bleed and destroy the eye, resulting in blindness.”
One scary part is that you may not have any symptoms initially. However, later in the disease, you can notice a fluctuation in your vision, problems with your central and color vision, various floaters and vision loss. In fact, without treatment, total vision loss can occur within several years, Al-Aswad says.
About 40 to 45 percent of Americans with diabetes have some form of diabetic retinopathy, although only half of them are aware of it, according to the National Eye Institute.
An earlier stage of diabetic retinopathy is called nonproliferative, and the later stage is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy. With proliferative diabetic retinopathy, certain blood vessels can close off, but new ones will grow in their place and potentially affect your vision.
Efforts to treat diabetic retinopathy include injections into the eye and laser treatments, both of which can improve your vision. However, the treatments work best when started at earlier stages of the condition.
In addition to poorly controlled blood sugar over time, smoking and an older age put you at a higher risk for diabetic retinopathy, says Dr. Mark Goldfarb, an ophthalmologist with Advanced Eye Care in River Edge, New Jersey.
Another common eye problem in those with diabetes is diabetic macular edema, or DME. “Because of uncontrolled blood sugar, the vessels in the area responsible for the central vision can either leak, or new vessels can form and cause swelling and bleeding in the macula,” Al-Aswad says. Diabetic macular edema is vision-threatening as well. The patients at greatest risk for DME are ones with poorly controlled blood sugar over a long time.
“Many forms of diabetic macular edema need to be treated,” Wang says. “There have been recent advancements in the treatment of this condition that can help prevent permanent loss of sight if it is detected and treated early.”
Read the entire article from U.S. News & World Report here!
Don’t miss the next FREE vision seminar hosted by Dr. Ming Wang on Thurs, Sept 7 at 6:30pm at Embassy Suites in Nashville, 1811 Broadway, Nashville, TN.
All seminar attendees:
- Are entered to the “Win a Free 3D LASIK” drawing.
- Earn a $1200 gift certificate towards a free eye evaluation ($200) and $1,000 for 3D LASIK procedure.
- Earn a 25% off ($3000 value) if you bring two or more family/friends to the seminar.
- Get a chance to win at least four 50% gift certificates ($6000 value) at the seminar.
- If you schedule a free eye evaluation and are not medically eligible then you can transfer your “Win a Free 3D LASIK” entry and the gift certificates to family/ friend.