Diabetic Eye Care
If you have diabetes, it is important for you to see an eye doctor at least annually to monitor for changes in your retinal health. Our doctors at Vision Health have years of experience managing patients with diabetes while using the latest imaging technology to obtain a deep understanding of retinal and vascular health. Problems relating to the retina caused by diabetes, termed diabetic retinopathy, area major cause of severe vision loss in the U.S. The information we gather during the eye exam indicates how well your blood sugar is being controlled. We discuss our findings with your endocrinologist or primary care doctor. The vital information we provide to them can aid in the decision-making regarding your care. Below is further information regarding diabetic retinopathy and how diabetes affects your eyes.
How does diabetes cause diabetic retinopathy?
Over time, diabetes damages small blood vessels throughout the body, including the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these small blood vessels become leaky and can no longer contain the bloodstream contents inside the blood vessel walls. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, which results in cloudy and blurred vision. The higher the blood sugar is the more damage that is occurring to the blood vessels, which causes more complications to the retina. Also, the longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop retinopathy.
What are common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
There may be no symptoms at all in early stages of the disease, and even in more severe stages, people may not notice any symptoms.
Seeing spots or floaters.
Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision.
Difficulty seeing at night and in low light.
Vision fluctuation as blood sugar fluctuates.
How is diabetic retinopathy treated?
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends on the stage of the disease. In early stages, regular monitoring may be the only treatment. As the disease advances, there becomes a need to intervene before permanent vision loss occurs. Typically, the first line of treatment is intraocular injections of a medication that helps stop leaking of blood vessels and reduce retinal swelling. The other main treatment option is laser photocoagulation.