Eye Care Associates Discusses Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes is a condition that causes damage throughout the body, including the eyes, where it causes damage to the fragile blood vessels. Appropriate care can help to limit the damage caused by diabetic retinopathy. At Eye Care Associates, our physicians provide care for diabetes-related eye care.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?
Diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas in which insulin, a natural hormone that removes glucose from the body, is produced in insufficient amounts or not at all. As a result, glucose is held inside the body and builds up in the walls of the blood vessels, weakening them. When blood vessels are weakened, blood and nutrients cannot flow to the eye in a normal fashion and may leak from the blood vessels, further damaging tissues. Our optometrist will look for these changes in your eyes during your dilated eye exams.
Why Is Diabetic Retinopathy a Serious Concern?
The retina of the eye transfers light to the optic nerve so it can be converted into images that are sent to the brain. Damage caused by diabetes can cause blood vessels to leak. Other conditions can also contribute to diabetic retinopathy, such as poor control of blood sugar levels over a period of time, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pregnancy, and tobacco use. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include dark spots or strings in the field of vision, blurry vision, empty areas in the field of vision, and vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to diabetic macular edema, a complication in which fluid builds up in the macula, a critical structure in the eye. Diabetic macular edema can lead to blindness.
What Treatments Are Available for Diabetic Retinopathy?
Managing blood sugar levels is critical to preventing vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. In the early stages, our eye doctor will carefully monitor any problems occurring in your eyes. Certain drugs may be injected into the eyes to slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatments can also help to stop the progression of the condition. In some cases, a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy may also be done to prevent further vision loss.
Choose Eye Care Associates as Your Optometrist for Eye and Vision Care
Our eye and vision care professionals at Eye Care Associates use intensive training and years of experience to help patients have better vision throughout life. We offer many services, including eyeglass fitting, contact lenses, pediatric eye care, dry eye treatment, LASIK vision correction, and retina care. Contact Eye Care Associates today at (330) 746-7691 for an appointment to have your eyes examined and learn about today’s treatments for diabetic retinopathy.