Diabetes is a serious disease that affects many parts of the body including your eyes. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to Diabetic Retinopathy, which is known to cause vision loss and blindness.
The month of November is National Diabetic Eye Disease Month, and it was only appropriate for us to educate our customers on this disease and the effects it could have on their vision.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Known as one of the leading causes of blindness, Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication associated with diabetes that causes progressive damage to the blood vessels that provide circulation to the retina, which is the light sensitive lining in the back of your eye. The retina is responsible for detecting image qualities such as color and light intensity.
Diabetic Retinopathy does not show symptoms right away, it begins to cause damage to the circulatory system of the retina.
Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy is mostly associated with 4 stages. The four stages of Diabetic Retinopathy are:
- Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy: This is considered the first step in the evolution of Diabetic Retinopathy. In this stage, microaneurysms begin to occur. This is when the tiny blood vessels in the retina begin to swell.
- Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy: In this second stage of Diabetic Retinopathy, some of the blood vessels that nourish the retina are blocked.
- Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy: In this third stage, more blood vessels are blocked, causing the retina to be deprived of their blood supply. This causes the retina to send out messages to the body to grow more blood vessels for nourishment.
- Proliferative Retinopathy: This is the advanced stage of Diabetic Retinopathy. In this stage the signals sent out by the retina in the previous stage are received and new blood vessels are created. The new blood vessels created tend to be fragile and abnormal. Furthermore, these blood vessels seem to grow along the retina and the clear gel that fills the inside of the eye.
The build up of these blood vessels are not the cause of the vision loss. The vision loss comes when these blood vessels leak blood. This leak causes the retina to swell causing blindness and severe vision loss.
What are Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy patients may experience the following symptoms:
- Seeing floaters or spots in their field of vision
- Blurred Vision
- Seeing or having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
In order to fight off these symptoms and prevent the disease from progressing it is important to control the blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar levels are controlled these symptoms will subside as well.
How is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy by performing a comprehensive dilated eye exam. During the comprehensive dilated eye exam the doctor may test for things such as:
- Patient History
- Visual Acuity
- Evaluation of Ocular structures including the retina
- Measurement of the pressure in the eye or tonometry
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OTC)
Conducting these tests will help the doctor determine the severity of the Diabetic Retinopathy and how to best treat it.
Who is at Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy can affect anyone who has type 1 and/or type 2 diabetes. It is recommended that everyone get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year, but it is highly recommended for people who have diabetes. It is estimated that about 40% – 45% of Americans with diabetes have some stage of Diabetic Retinopathy. Getting a yearly eye exam, can help prevent the progression of Diabetic Retinopathy.
Women who are pregnant and diabetic have a higher risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy. In order to prevent the progression of Diabetic Retinopathy, in pregnant women with diabetes, they should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible.
Furthermore, your race and medical history can affect your chances of developing Diabetic Retinopathy. Hispanics and African Americans are at a greater risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy. Having a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol can also increase your chances of developing Diabetic Retinopathy.
If you are diabetic and haven’t had your annual eye exam, stop by any Stanton Optical location near you and schedule an appointment!
A change in season gives you the opportunity to update and revive your style and wardrobe. Most of the time we focus on updating our clothes, shoes and sweaters…but, what about your eyewear? Your eyewear deserves to be updated so that you stay true to your style throughout every season. Here at Stanton Optical we believe that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one or two pairs of eyeglasses or sunglasses for the whole year. Eyewear is a reflection of your style and personality, and it should reflect who you are every season. We’ve compiled a list of 5 frames for him and her that will help reflect your style this winter season.
These simple Impression Women’s frames have a light grey and blue tint, perfect for wearing on a snowy day.
If you are feeling blue, these Women’s Swiss frames will help improve your mood on any blue feeling day.
Can’t decide on a specific frame color? These Women’s Impression frames will add some spunk to your style with their multicolor and braid detail on the side of the legs.
These violet red Impression frames are perfect for going from an office look to night time chic, any day of the week.
Christian of Paris
These Christian of Paris frames are a blend of different shades of gray, that will add a touch of sophistication and trendiness to any outfit!
These classic Carter Semi-Rimless frames are great for the gentleman looking to keep his style with their eyewear.
Stand out from the crowd with these Swiss grey and black swirl frames. These frames are sure to be a conversation starter at any Holiday party you attend.
Do you consider yourself more of a traditional gentleman? If so, then these Impression frames are up your alley! They combine traditional elements with stylish design.
Looking to make a lasting Impression at your Holiday party? If so, then these blue and black marble Impression frames are for you!
These Carter frames were inspired by designers such as Tom Ford and Oliver Peoples. They combine functionality with current fashion trends. The combination of black and brown make these frames versatile for any occasion.
Next time you’re out shopping for the Holidays, make sure to stop by a Stanton Optical location near to update your eyewear and save!
What is Anti-Reflective Coating?
Anti-Reflective Coating, also known as AR Coating and anti-glare coating, is used to improve your vision through the lenses and to also improve the appearance of your glasses. AR lenses improve the vision through your lens due to it’s ability to eliminate reflections of light from the front and back of your lenses. By eliminating the reflections, AR coating allows 99.5% of light to enter through the lens to the eye causing the lenses to look clearer, more attractive, and allowing the light to enter your eyes.
It is recommended that AR coating is placed on high-index lenses, since these lenses are known to reflect more light from the surface of the lenses. Adding the AR coating will allow more light to pass through the lens, instead of creating the pesky reflection that makes it difficult to drive at night.
The surface of the AR coated lens is treated with a “hydrophobic” treatment which repels water, eliminating the appearance of water spots. The AR lenses can also be treated with “oleo-phobic” treatment, which repels both water and oil. These lens treatments possess properties that make the lens seem as if it was non-stick cookware, but we don’t suggest using them to cook.
Benefits of AR Coating
Having AR coating on your lenses does not only enhance your look, but they are also beneficial for:
- Reducing glare and reflections.
- Reducing glare at night when driving.
- AR coating helps prevent “digital eye strain” for individuals who work in front of computers all day.
- Enhancing the appearance of your glasses.
- Making the lens appear invisible.
How to Care for Anti-Reflective Lenses
Since the AR coating is a special coating, caring for these lenses will require a bit more work. For example:
- NEVER clean lenses dry. Even if you only have water available rinse them off before you clean them so you don’t grind anything into your lenses.
- Only use a microfiber cloth, never use your tie or your shirt.
- Put your glasses in their case at night and when you’re not using them.
- You can put use an eye glass cleaner but skip most household dish soap as it can eat away at the lens.
- Keep alcohol and acetone away from your lenses, as they can eat away at your lens.
These care tips are suggested in an effort to ensure that your AR coating lasts as long as they can.
Adding the AR coating to your lenses will not only help you see better, and look better but with the AR coating you won’t have to shade your eyes when you go out into the sun, or squint trying to see through the glare and reflections.
Stop by a Stanton Optical location near you to get your eye exam and get your pair of Anti-Reflective lenses!