Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Eye Disease is a complication of diabetes. Diabetic Eye Disease refers to a group of eye problems caused by diabetes that can cause severe vision loss. The groups of eye diseases which make up Diabetic Eye Disease are: Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataract and Glaucoma.
The staff at Family Vision Centers specializes in the treatment of each one of the Diabetic Eye Diseases. Visit our Cataracts Information Page to learn more about Cataracts. Our Facts about Glaucoma Page provides all the information you need about Glaucoma. The information below contains more information about the most common Diabetic Eye Disease, Diabetic Retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in Americans. Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina. In some cases, the blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid. The damage to the retina caused by Diabetic Retinopathy can lead to vision loss or even blindness.
Although everyone with diabetes is at risk, the longer someone has diabetes the more likely they are to have Diabetic Retinopathy. About 40-45 percent of Americans with diabetes have Diabetic Retinopathy.
In the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy you may notice no vision changes, but as it progresses vision loss can occur. There is also no pain associated with Diabetic Retinopathy. Due to the lack of symptoms it can be hard to detect Diabetic Retinopathy early on. Family Vision Center has both a Visual Field as well as OCT machine (Optical Coherence Tomography) to diagnose and detect this disease (as well as others).
Even in later stages of Diabetic Retinopathy, no symptoms may be present which is why routine eye exams for patients with diabetes are so important. During routine eye exams for diabetic patients, Family Vision Center doctors will check for symptoms including: leaking blood vessels, retinal swelling and damage, damaged nerve tissue and any other changes in the blood vessels as well as have you schedule an appointment for those additional tests. If you have diabetes, be sure to schedule your routine eye exam with one of the experienced doctors at Family Vision Center.
If your doctor detects Diabetic Retinopathy during your eye exam he or she may prescribe treatment for the disease. There is no treatment needed for patients in the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy. However, treating diabetes properly may prevent further progression of Diabetic Retinopathy. Later stages of Diabetic Retinopathy can be treated with laser surgery. During laser treatment the abnormal blood vessels will be shrunk. If you are in the later stages of Diabetic Retinopathy your Family Vision Center physician will work with you and a laser specialist to treat your disease.