Dr. Robert Deck of Michigan has practiced optometry for more than 20 years. Robert Deck, OD, currently serves on the team at Todd Harris and Associates in Lapeer, Michigan, where he welcomes patients with diabetic eye disease.
Diabetic eye disease is not a single disorder but rather a classification granted to those conditions that frequently arise in patients with diabetes. A subset of such conditions is diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when chronic high blood sugar causes damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This in turn causes swelling in the blood vessels of the retina, which can then leak or distort in shape.
In some cases, leaking fluid collects in an area of the retina known as the macula, which is responsible for vision focus. Such collection of fluid causes the macula to swell and in turn leads to blurring of vision. This is the most common contributor to vision loss in patients with diabetes.
Untreated diabetic retinopathy may also advance to the disease’s proliferative form, in which damage to retinal blood supply leads to the growth of new blood vessels. This new growth is abnormal and prone to leakage, which may cause scar tissue development and retinal detachment, often leading to irreversible vision loss.
Because effects of diabetic retinopathy become more severe as the disease progresses, early detection is crucial. If discovered soon enough, physicians may be able to slow leakage through laser therapy or injected medication, the latter of which can also limit the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
As an optometrist with Todd Harris and Associates in Michigan, Dr. Robert Deck performs eye examinations to assess for correction needs and potential disorders. Dr. Robert Deck of Michigan draws on an in-depth knowledge of amblyopia and other ocular abnormalities.
Colloquially known as lazy eye, amblyopia stands out as the most common cause of vision loss in childhood. It occurs when the brain learns to use one eye more than the other, which in turn leads to a lack of development in the nerve pathways between the brain and the less-used eye.
Amblyopia often develops secondary to a condition known as strabismus, which is characterized by the misalignment of one of the two eyes. Because the strabismic eye is rotated up, down, inward, or outward, the brain learns to disregard the signals from that eye.
Other cases of amblyopia develop when one eye is significantly more nearsighted or farsighted than the other. In these situations, known as refractive amblyopia, the brain often adapts by seeing clearly from the normal eye, and a diagnosis of amblyopia does not happen until the patient undergoes a vision test.
Similarly, children with cataracts or other vision disorders may develop a condition known as deprivation amblyopia, in which the eyes do not have enough practice seeing to develop strong connections. This may lead to long-term vision loss if not identified early in life.
In fact, amblyopia is in general significantly more treatable with early detection. Many children respond well to interventions such as eye patching or prescription lenses, which alter the balance between the eyes and force the brain to learn to use the lazy eye. In these cases, vision therapy can help the change to become permanent.