There are over 425 million people in the world who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes you may be at risk for a sight threatening disease called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision problems and even blindness if left untreated. When your body is faced with high blood sugar levels it causes damage to the blood vessels located in the retina. High blood sugar levels cause the blood vessels to swell and leak. These changes can cause vision loss in diabetic patients of all ages. It is estimated that 80% of diabetic patients will eventually develop some stage of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is fairly common in diabetics and the longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk factor is. Additionally, those with poor control of their blood sugar have an increased risk of developing retinopathy. For every 1% increase in hemoglobin A1c over 7% there is a 50% increased risk in developing proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The team at eyecarecenter are experts at diagnosing diabetic retinopathy and helping patients manage their condition.
eyecarecenter has diabetic retinopathy specialists at our North Carolina locations.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Those who have had diabetes for an extended period of time are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. It occurs when high blood sugar levels cause changes that damage blood vessels in the retina. These changes can cause swelling to the vessels (macular edema) and leak fluid into the rear of the eye. If diabetic retinopathy goes untreated it will gradually become more serious and as it progresses it can affect your vision and lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of acquired blindness in patients over age 65.
Diabetic macular edema (DME) occurs when there is fluid build up in the macula which is the central portion of the retina that we use whenever we look straight ahead. This area of the retina is responsible for our clearest vision. Diabetic macular edema is responsible for about 50% of vision loss in patients with diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, you should have a dilated eye examination at least once every year to check for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic Eye Exams From Top Local Optometrists
As previously stated, you could have diabetic retinopathy without knowing it. If you have diabetes it is important that you have regular diabetic eye exams to monitor your vision. Early detection is critical when it comes to diabetic retinopathy. Our specialists at eyecarecenter can accurately perform a retinal screening to find diabetic retinopathy and create a treatment plan that is right for you.
Advanced Treatment Options for Diabetic Retinopathy
Our doctors at eyecarecenter are highly skilled in diagnosing patients with diabetic retinopathy and managing their conditions. We understand the dangerous implications and time-sensitive manner in approaching this health condition. Your treatment will be based on what your expert ophthalmologist sees in your eyes. A few treatment options are:
Laser surgery which reduces the demand in the retina for new blood vessel growth.This can reduce bleeding and swelling of the retina.
Medications such as Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis. These medications help stop new leaky blood vessel growth and ultimately reduce swelling of the macula and slow the vision loss process.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes please give us a call to schedule an appointment at your nearest eyecarecenter location. Our expert doctors are ready to give retinal screenings and get you on your treatment plan for healthier eyes.
In some cases very mild forms can be resolved with strict blood glucose control. Through early detection, you can prevent diabetic retinopathy from taking your vision. See an eye doctor every few months and treat damage before developing symptoms.
If you are diabetic, yes. Diabetes is a very common disease and 80% of diabetes develop some form of diabetic retinopathy. A simple retinopathy screening is quick, easy, and covered by insurance.
The best way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy is with a comprehensive dilated eye exam. You should expect your eye doctor to put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils to better view inside your eyes. The drops can cause your close vision to blur for several hours after.