Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent vision loss. We'll explore what diabetic retinopathy is, how it develops, and what treatments are available.
Do you think you're at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy? If you have diabetes, it's crucial to manage your sugar levels properly to prevent issues like diabetic retinopathy from occurring. Our optometrist at The Family Eye Site in Pembroke Pines, FL, can conduct a thorough eye exam to determine whether or not you have this condition. If you have it, we'll formulate a suitable treatment plan.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
It's a diabetes complication that affects the retina. The retina is responsible for capturing light and sending it to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy happens when high sugar levels in the blood cause damage to the blood vessels that supply the retina with nutrients. This can lead to leakage of blood and fluid, and eventually retinal detachment.
When retinal detachment occurs, the retina can no longer adequately send images to the brain, resulting in vision loss.
In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy may not show any symptoms. It can develop gradually over many years. As it grows, it may show symptoms, such as decreased vision, making it difficult to read or see objects clearly. If this condition is diagnosed and treated early, however, there is a good chance of preserving vision.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can vary depending on the stage of the disease. In its early stages, there may be no symptoms at all. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include:
- Decreased vision, making it difficult to read or see objects clearly
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Floaters or "cobwebs" in the field of vision
- Rings around lights
- Dark spots in the field of vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Light sensitivity
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see an optometrist right away.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have diabetes, it's important to get your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. The optometrist will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy.
If the condition is diagnosed, treatment will vary depending on its severity. Major treatment options may include:
- Laser treatment – This is a common treatment for diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatment is used to seal off the damaged blood vessels, preventing further leakage and damage.
- Eye surgery - In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair a detached retina or remove scar tissue.
- Eye injections - If the blood vessels have become too damaged, your optometrist may recommend injections to help improve blood flow to the retina.
Visit The Family Eye Site in Pembroke Pines, FL, for Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have diabetes, regular eye exams are crucial for the early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Even if you don't have this condition, you can benefit from crucial advice on how to avoid it. Call (954) 430-8330 to book an appointment with our optometrist.