Though the condition can be treated, diabetic retinopathy remains incurable – therefore, it continues to rob people unfairly of their sight. This disease is marked by retinal damage as a result of diabetes; it specifically affects the blood vessels in the eye and can cause loss of vision and, in worst case scenarios, blindness. Fortunately, if you detect the disease before it progresses too far, chances of controlling it are good. Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists can help, by providing thorough diagnosis and excellent referrals for treatment and continuing care.
We urge anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to familiarize themselves with the causes and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, as well as the treatment options and recommendations for preventing the disease. If you would like to schedule a screening for diabetic retinopathy, contact our Eustis, Clermont, or Leesburg office today.
Diabetes and the Eye: What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?
In order to effectively manage diabetic retinopathy, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of how diabetes can damage certain parts of the eye. The retina, a paper-thin tissue, lines the back of the eye. It functions like film in a camera… light strikes it and provides us with vision.
Diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina, and eventually causes poor blood flow to the back of the eye. In advanced cases, fluid from these leaking and damaged blood vessels will fill the center of the retina, called the macula. Ensuing vision loss may be mild, moderate, or significant.
As blood flow decreases, the retina literally starves for oxygen. In advanced cases, fragile new blood vessels grow to replace the dead ones. Unfortunately, these new weak vessels often break, bleed, and fill the entire eye with blood. This can cause a rapid and significant loss of vision.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy can develop and progress without signs or symptoms. While many patients develop blurred vision from swelling in the retina, it is possible to have absolutely no symptoms but to have relatively advanced damage. That is why diabetics must see their eye doctor at least once a year for a specialized exam.
If you have questions about the symptoms, or lack of symptoms, of diabetic retinopathy, our Eustis, Clermont, and Leesburg doctors would be happy to answer them. Contact our offices today.
Prevention and Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
Early treatment of diabetic retinopathy and regular visits to an ophthalmologist often improve the potential for saving sight. It is important that people with diabetes see their eye doctor at least once a year, even before any symptoms appear.
If diabetic retinopathy already exists in the eye, retinal laser treatments can be performed. These may help to reduce swelling in the retina, as well as reverse new vessel formation in the retina. Our doctors may recommend some diabetic patients see a specialist for retinal laser treatments.
Contact Us About Diabetic Retinopathy Causes and Treatment
If you’d like to learn more about diabetic retinopathy, contact the Eustis, Leesburg, or Clermont office of Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists. We look forward to serving you.