October 28, 2021
It’s all about prevention!
Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition affecting the sensitive vessels in the retina. Damage to this light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye can result in permanent blindness, so it is important to get a comprehensive diabetic and dilated eye exam at least once a year. This, combined with good blood sugar management, is the most effective way to prevent diabetes-related eye problems.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, the symptoms are hardly noticeable. You may start to experience slight vision changes, such as the inability to see faraway objects or trouble reading. These changes might be caused by blood sugar fluctuations and are often temporary.
As the condition progresses, the blood vessels in your retina begin to bleed into the vitreous (the fluid contained in the back of the eye). When this happens, you may start to notice cobweb-like streaks or black floating spots. In some instances, they may clear up on their own, but it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you do not get treatment, the bleeding may recur, worsen, or cause permanent scarring.
Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy
Untreated diabetic retinopathy may result in additional complications such as neovascular glaucoma. This occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow out of the retina and impede fluid drainage from the eye. This can increase the pressure in of the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve, which can cause vision loss.
Treating Diabetic Retinopathy
There are various treatments for diabetic retinopathy, from close observation to laser treatments, to surgery in severe cases. Our goal at East Main Vision Clinic is for you to avoid the need for these treatments in the first place. If you are diabetic, call our office to schedule a yearly diabetic evaluation.
And remember that prevention is key: maintain good control of your blood sugar and keep all appointments with your PCP or endocrinologist.
For more information on diabetic exams and diabetic retinopathy, call East Main Vision Clinic at our office in Puyallup, Washington at (253) 780-0700 with any questions or to schedule an appointment.