Diabetic retinopathy is a health complication that can stem from diabetes and cause vision loss over time. At Primary Eyecare Associates in Troy, Michigan, the skilled optometrists monitor your eye health regularly to check for diabetes-related changes in your eyes. These screenings can preserve your vision and prevent blindness. Book your eye exam for diabetic retinopathy by phone or online at Primary Eyecare Associates today.
Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes, a chronic condition affecting the amount of glucose, or sugar, in your blood. This happens because a hormone called insulin, which converts blood sugar to energy, is not present or cannot perform its function adequately. The high levels of blood glucose can lead to the blockages of the tiny blood vessels that give your retinas their blood supply.
Without adequate nutrients from your blood, your eyes attempt to compensate by developing new blood vessels in the region. However, the new blood vessels are much more prone to damage and leakage. Without proper diabetes management or early intervention for diabetic retinopathy, the condition can lead to vision decline or complete blindness.
If you develop new blood vessels due to diabetic retinopathy, you have proliferative retinopathy, which can cause retinal detachment or glaucoma. Nonproliferative retinopathy does not result in new blood vessel growth.
Primary Eyecare Associates can detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy during a comprehensive eye exam, which includes dilation to view the back of your eye. Your optometrist might also use advanced imaging and optical coherence tomography. They then develop an individualized treatment plan to prevent further vision loss and help your eyes get the healthy blood supply they need.
Early stages of diabetic retinopathy often come with no symptoms at all. It’s important to keep up on your routine eye exams to detect early indicators of the condition. As part of your diabetes treatment plan, your doctor might recommend getting eye exams more frequently.
As your condition worsens, you might begin to notice telltale signs and symptoms affecting your vision and eye health. Diabetic retinopathy can cause:
Typically, the condition affects both eyes at the same time. If you have diabetes but don’t yet have diabetic retinopathy, you can lower your risk of getting it by avoiding smoking, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol, and diligently managing your blood sugar levels.
Primary Eyecare Associates develops diabetic retinopathy treatment plans with a goal of preserving vision. Your optometrist considers the stage of your condition and may work with your primary care provider to give you the best possible care. To diagnose the condition, they look for damaged blood vessels, scar tissue, and signs of inflammation in your eyes.
Early stages of diabetic retinopathy might not require treatment, but you should monitor your condition closely with visits to Primary Eyecare Associates. For advanced diabetic retinopathy, your optometrist may refer you to a skilled ophthalmologic surgeon for advanced care. Various laser treatments, intraocular injections, and surgeries can slow blood leakage, remove blood from your eyes, or control the formation of new blood vessels.
To find out if you’re at risk for diabetic retinopathy or get a comprehensive eye exam, call Primary Eyecare Associates, or book an appointment online today.