If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, it’s possible your vision could be affected by a condition called retinopathy. Receive the diabetic eye care you need to preserve your vision despite your diagnosis.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
The retina is the layer of nerves at the back of the eye that captures light and allows you to see. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina that causes your blood vessels to weaken and leak liquid into the gelatinous middle part of your eye known as the vitreous humor. This changes your vision, may cause scar tissue, and can lead to macular edema, or swelling of the macula.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
High blood sugar damages the blood vessels in your eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy. While new blood vessels continually replenish in the retina, these will continue to grow in a weakened state if you can’t bring your blood sugar levels down. Having high blood pressure alongside diabetes could make retinopathy worse since this condition makes more fluid leak from weakened blood vessels.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Many people don’t experience symptoms until their diabetic retinopathy has become severe. When you start noticing something wrong with your vision, here’s what to expect:
- Loss of central vision, which is most noticeable when you read or drive
- Inability to see colors
- Blurred vision
- Black spots in your vision
- Eye pain
Visit our diabetic eye doctor right away if you notice any of these or other vision problems, whether or not you have diabetes.
Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy
When you visit our office in Hot Springs for an eye exam, our eye doctor will dilate your pupils and look for any changes that could indicate retinopathy. This is the only way to diagnose this condition early enough to treat it effectively, which is why having routine eye exams once a year is so vital, especially if you have diabetes. Without proper eye care, you may not notice any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until it’s too late.
Treatment Options for Diabetic Retinopathy
The methods of slowing vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy include:
- Surgery – A vitrectomy removes leaked blood from the vitreous humor to reduce cloudy vision and help you see better.
- Laser treatment – Photocoagulation is a procedure that seals or destroys leaky blood vessels. The treatment doesn’t hurt, but it may affect your night vision and ability to see color.
- Medicine – Corticosteroids reduce inflammation while Ophthalmics and VEGF inhibitors reduce macular edema and the formation of new blood vessels in the retina.
Visit a Diabetic Eye Doctor in Hot Springs
Having your vision affected by diabetes can be frightening. Make sure you receive the quality care you need at Holt Eye Clinic in Hot Springs. Give us a call today at (501) 624-0609 to set up your first appointment. Our diabetic eye doctor will show you the difference it makes to work with a compassionate and knowledgeable eye care team!