Diabetic retinopathy is a condition of the eyes that can result in vision loss and permanent blindness in diabetic patients. This condition affects blood vessels that are within the retina. If you are a diabetic patient, you should undergo a comprehensive dilated eye exam once a year at the least. We treat diabetic retinopathy patients here at Vision Source Fredericksburg Road in San Antonio TX.
Causes & Symptoms
The cause of diabetic retinopathy is high blood sugar resulting from diabetes. Too much sugar in your blood can cause damage to your retina over time. The retina is the part of the eye that is responsible for sending signals to your brain via the optic nerve and detecting light. Diabetes doesn’t just damage the blood vessels of the eye. It also damages blood vessels throughout the entire body. The damage to your eye begins when sugar blocks the small blood vessels that lead to your retina. As a result, they may begin to bleed or leak fluid.
Symptoms are usually not present in the earlier stages of diabetic retinopathy. Some people may notice minimal changes in their vision such as difficulty reading or seeing objects at a distance. These are changes that may come and go.
However, in the later stages of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels within the retina will begin to bleed and leak into the vitreous. You may notice floating, dark spots, or streaks similar to cobwebs in your vision. Many times, the spots go away on their own. It is still important to seek treatment from an optometrist right away. If you avoid getting treated, the bleeding can worsen causing scarring.
Diagnosis & Treatment
To properly diagnose diabetic retinopathy, your doctor will perform a dilated eye exam. This is a painless and simple exam that will involve the use of eye drops to dilate your pupil thus allowing your eye doctor to check for diabetic retinopathy. If you are a diabetic patient, you should get routine eye exams so if you do develop diabetic retinopathy you can prevent damage and blindness.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy in the early stages only consists of the eye doctor keeping track of how well your eyes are doing. Some diabetic retinopathy patients may have to undergo a dilated eye exam every 2 to 4 months.
In the later stages of diabetic retinopathy, you should seek treatment right away. It cannot reverse any damage that has already been done to your vision, but it can prevent your vision from worsening. Treatments may consist of the following:
- Laser treatment
- Eye surgery
Schedule an Appointment with Our Fredericksburg Road Optometrist for Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
If you are searching for a Fredericksburg Road optometrist near me, give us a call here at Vision Source Fredericksburg Road to schedule an appointment. We are an optometry office located in San Antonio TX.