If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you probably have a lot of questions about how it will affect the rest of your body. If you're in the Houston area, an expert eye doctor at Eye Wellness Center can provide you with guidance in the field of optometry.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
High blood sugar levels can weaken and damage the blood vessels that nourish the retina over time, causing them to leak fluid or blood. Issues arise when the blood vessels in the retina develop damage, which causes dark spots, blurry vision, eye floaters, and even complete vision loss.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms vary from person to person, although most commonly include dark spots or floaters in your field of vision, blurred vision, difficulty seeing color or contrast, and, in severe cases, complete loss of vision.
How is it Diagnosed?
Diagnosing diabetic retinopathy involves eye exams with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. During the exam, the doctor will examine your retina using specialized equipment such as an ophthalmoscope or fundus camera to take detailed images of the inside of your eye.
How can it be Prevented?
Like other issues caused by diabetes, the most effective prevention is controlling blood sugar levels through proper diabetes management. Focus on your overall health, such as maintaining a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. If you smoke, then try quitting, and monitor your sugar intake. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you won't develop diabetic retinopathy, but lifestyle changes are a great place to start.
How is it Treated?
Treatment options depend on the type and severity of your condition. This is why early detection and regular monitoring of your eye health are so crucial. If it's detected early, then you will probably respond well to medication to reduce fluid buildup in the eye. Sometimes we don't catch the condition until it is more advanced, and in cases like that, laser surgery or surgery to remove scar tissue from the retina are the most effective treatments.
What are the Risks of Diabetic Retinopathy?
The risk factors for diabetic retinopathy are closely linked to the risks associated with not properly maintaining your diabetes. Typically, uncontrolled diabetes and the duration of the disease are big contributing factors. Additionally, if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney issues, or smoke, you are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, early detection and proper management can help reduce the risk of vision loss.
Contact Eye Wellness Center in Houston, TX
At Eye Wellness Center, we perform regular eye exams and provide top-notch care. To book an appointment with our optometrists, call (713) 942-2187 to learn more.