Diabetics can develop diabetic retinopathy due to high blood sugar levels, which damage the tiny blood vessels in their retinas. The condition can also cause abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina. Also referred to as diabetic eye disease, retinopathy occurs in two stages:
Some of the common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include a swarm of dark floaters in your vision and vision loss. If you are diabetic, you should have regular eye exams so that Dr. Clark is able to examine your retinas. Typically, your pupils will be dilated with drops so that Dr. Clark is able to see into your eyes and examine your retinas. He may also use a yellow dye to check the integrity of the blood vessels in your retina or use a machine to check optical coherence tomography, which is another way to closely examine the retina to check for thickness and other signs of swelling or damage.
The first and most important thing a patient can do to control and prevent diabetic retinopathy is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. If you control your blood sugar, you will reduce the risk of damage to your retinas. Follow your doctor’s instructions for your diet to regulate your blood sugar levels. If you start to develop diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Clark will provide medicine that can help to reduce swelling in your macula, slowing vision loss and even improving your vision. Steroids may also help to reduce macular swelling. In some cases, Dr. Clark may recommend laser surgery to close off leaking blood vessels and shrink and stop the development of new ones.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!