It is not uncommon for patients with diabetic retinopathy to remain unaware that their vision has changed until they have undergone an exam by our optometrist at Richardson Eye Associates. Regular eye exams at our Richardson, TX practice are particularly important for individuals suffering from diabetes, which ranks first among causes of vision loss among U.S. adults.
Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy
Vision loss from diabetic retinopathy occurs as diabetes advances and causes damage to your retina. As the individual’s blood sugar level increases, small vessels in the lining of the retina start to leak blood, proteins, and other fluids. The response of the patient’s body to this process is to generate more leaking vessels. The fluid that leaks cause swelling of the retina, resulting in blurred vision.
Patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. Our eye doctor stresses that the longer diabetes is present, the greater the risk of developing this eye disease. In the earliest stages, patients notice very few symptoms. Over time, the following symptoms appear:
- Blurry vision
- Night vision issues
- Spots or floaters
- Trouble differentiating colors
- Holes or black spots in the visual field
If diabetic retinopathy goes untreated, it can result in blindness, retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, and glaucoma. In addition to having diabetes, risk factors include high cholesterol levels, use of tobacco, hypertension, and pregnancy.
The treatment for diabetic retinopathy is largely dependent on how severe each case is. For those with mild or moderate disease, our Richardson, TX eye doctor typically monitors the progression of the condition. For more advanced diseases, our optometrist might recommend these therapies:
- VEGF injections into the eye to prevent the growth of new blood vessels
- Scatter laser treatment to shrink abnormal blood vessels that have already formed
- Photocoagulation to slow or halt leakage of blood or other fluids into the eye
- A surgical procedure known as a vitrectomy that allows excess fluid to drain through a small incision in the eye
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Richardson, TX
At Richardson Eye Associates, we have been providing residents of Richardson, TX with reliable eye care services for many years. Our optometrist will assess your condition to determine whether or not you are suffering from diabetic retinopathy and recommend treatment accordingly. Call us today at (972) 231-3439 for more information on the condition or to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.