Diabetes is a very serious disease that can affect many body systems including the eyes. Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina. It can also cause the formation of abnormal blood vessels. Although there is no cure for this condition, the professionals at Advanced Eyecare can create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease, which will preserve your vision longer.
Who Is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?
The longer you have diabetes, the higher the risk for diabetic retinopathy. Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. However, there are risk factors that can increase your risk of developing the condition:
- Poor control of your blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Having high cholesterol
- Using tobacco
- Being Hispanic, African-American, or Native American
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy can cause several symptoms that affect the vision in both eyes, including:
- Blurry vision
- Spots in your vision
- Dark strings in your vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Dark areas in your vision
- Impaired color vision
- Vision loss
How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?
Diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. During the exam, our eye doctor will put dilating drops in your eyes to get a good look at your eye to look for a few different issues including:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Growth of new blood vessels
- Development of scar tissue
- Bleeding in the vitreous
- Abnormalities in the optic nerve
- Retinal detachment
If our optometrist suspects you have diabetic retinopathy, we will perform a couple more tests to confirm the diagnosis:
- Fluorescein angiography: This test is designed to pinpoint any blood vessels that are leaking fluid, closed, or broken down.
- Optical coherence tomography: This test can determine if the fluid has leaked into the retinal tissue.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
Although there is no cure for this condition, your eye doctor can provide treatment options to slow the progression of the disease. In the early stages, your eye doctor may want to monitor your condition. As the disease progresses, treatment may involve the following methods:
- Focal laser treatment: This laser treatment can slow or stop blood and fluid from leaking into the eye.
- Scatter laser treatment: This laser treatment can shrink abnormal blood vessels.
- Vitrectomy: Our eye doctor will create a tiny incision in the eye to remove blood from the vitreous.
- Mediation injections: Your optometrist can inject medication into your eye to stop new blood vessels from forming.
Contact Advanced Eye Care for Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Las Vegas
If you have diabetes, you must schedule regular appointments with Advanced Eyecare in Las Vegas. Our doctor of optometry will examine your eyes to determine whether or not you have diabetic retinopathy and provide treatment accordingly. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (702) 737-3937.