Diabetes is a serious health condition that occurs when your body cannot use insulin properly, resulting in high blood sugar levels. This condition can put you at risk for several eye health conditions, including diabetic retinopathy. This eye disease can deteriorate your vision, so it is vital to get it diagnosed. At Eye Care Associates Inc., serving Youngstown, Warren, Boardman, and East Liverpool, OH, our optometrist will diagnose your condition and provide treatment options to preserve your vision.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
This condition occurs when high blood sugar leads to blockage of the blood vessels in the retina. When the blood supply is cut off, the eye might try to grow new blood vessels, but they don’t develop properly and may leak. This will eventually begin to affect your vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Factors
Although anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy, certain factors can increase your chance of developing the condition.
- Having diabetes for a long time
- Having poor control over your blood sugar
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco use
- Being Hispanic, African-American, or Native-American
Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms
There are often no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, you can develop the following symptoms:
- Dark spots, also known as floaters in your vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Blurry vision
- Permanent vision loss
Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed during an annual eye exam, even in the early stages. During a typical eye exam, our optometrist will use drops to dilate your eyes to get a good look inside your eyes. If our eye doctor discovers any abnormalities associated with diabetic retinopathy, we will perform further tests for a proper diagnosis.
Treating Diabetic Retinopathy
In the early stages, treatment isn't necessary, but our eye doctor will want to monitor your condition. It is important to manage your blood sugar to slow the progression of the disease and preserve your vision. As the disease progresses, there are a few treatment options available. This includes medication injections, laser surgery, and other surgical procedures. While there is no cure for the disease, monitoring your health is vital in preventing severe damage.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Optometrist for Diabetic Retinopathy Testing
If you have diabetes, it is important to get frequent eye exams. Routine checkups are vital in detecting diabetic retinopathy early, before it becomes severe. At Eye Care Associates Inc., serving Youngstown, Warren, Boardman, and East Liverpool, OH, our optometrist will perform an eye exam and tests to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. We will work with you to find the best management plan and provide corrective eyewear if necessary. We are happy to answer any questions you have. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more.