Diabetes is a very serious condition. Without proper care and control, diabetes can cause complications to various organs and other parts of your body. Your eyes are at significant risk. Diabetes causes a condition called diabetic retinopathy.
Q: What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
A: When you have too much sugar in your blood, it can cause the tiny blood vessels of your eyes to become blocked. When this happens, your eye will try to grow new blood vessels. If the blood vessels don't develop properly, they can leak, causing diabetic retinopathy.
Q: What Are the Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy?
A: In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy often shows no symptoms. As the disease progresses, you can begin to experience:
- Dark spots or strings floating in your vision called floaters
- Blurry vision
- Impaired color vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Dark areas in your vision
- Vision loss
Q: Who Is At Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy?
A: People who have poor control over their diabetes are at high risk for this condition. Other risk factors include:
- The length of time that you have had diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
Q: How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
A: In the early stages, you may not require treatment. Your eye doctor will want to monitor your condition closely. In the later stages, there are treatments that can be effective.
- Photocoagulation: This is a laser treatment that can stop or slow the leakage in the eye.
- Scatter laser treatment: The treatment method can shrink the abnormal blood vessels.
- Injectable medication: Your eye doctor can inject medication into the vitreous of your eye to stop the growth of new blood vessels.
- Vitrectomy: This is a surgical procedure where a tiny incision is made to remove blood from the eye. It will also remove the scar tissue that can tug on the retina.
If you have diabetes, it is essential that you schedule regular appointments with EYECARE For You. We treat patients in Richboro and Newtown and can diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy. Routine exams will help prevent permanent vision loss due to your diabetes. The sooner diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment.