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Diabetic Retinopathy

Bloomberg Eyecare

Optometrists located in Warren, OH, Austintown, OH, & Boardman, OH

Uncontrolled diabetes puts you at risk for several complex health issues, including diabetic retinopathy. At the Warren, Boardman, and Austintown, Ohio, offices of Bloomberg Eyecare, you can receive a comprehensive eye exam to identify diabetic eye complications in the earliest stages. The experienced optometrists offer the latest diagnostic screening tools to detect retinal damage quickly to prevent vision loss and permanent blindness. If you have diabetes, don’t put off a routine eye exam. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling the Bloomberg Eyecare office nearest you today.

Diabetic Retinopathy Q&A

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body converts glucose (sugar) from the food you eat into the energy you need to function. The hormone insulin is responsible for converting sugar into energy. However, in diabetes, your body may not be producing the insulin necessary to control blood sugar levels.

Diabetic retinopathy is a common side effect of diabetes that affects the health of your eyes. When you have uncontrolled type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar levels remain high and can damage the blood vessels of your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye, resulting in diabetic retinopathy. This condition can lead to visual disturbances and ultimately result in blindness.

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR)

NPDR develops when tiny blood vessels in your eye leak and cause swelling in the retina. You may also develop NPDR if the blood vessels close and limit blood to your macula. 

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR)

PDR is an advanced form of diabetic eye disease and occurs when your retina begins growing abnormal blood vessels. These vessels can leak into the vitreous fluid that fills your eye, causing dark floaters that can disrupt your vision.

If you have PDR, you may be at increased risk for developing more serious eye conditions, including retinal detachment and glaucoma.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms in its earliest stages. For this reason, you must schedule routine eye exams at Bloomberg Eyecare if you have diabetes or a family history of the disease.

As diabetic retinopathy progresses, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of color vision
  • Dark spots or stringy floaters
  • Dark areas of vision
  • Problems seeing at night

Without proper treatment, diabetic retinopathy can cause irreversible vision loss.

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?

Bloomberg Eyecare offers comprehensive eye exams to detect abnormalities relating to diabetic retinopathy. During the exam, your optometrist looks for damaged blood vessels, inflammation, or scar tissue that may indicate retinal damage. This test involves dilation of your eyes with special drops, so your provider can see the back of your eye clearly. 

You may also need optical coherence tomography and other advanced imaging tests to confirm your diagnosis. 

They also review your medical history to better understand your diabetes diagnosis and how you manage your blood sugar level.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

When you have mild to moderate diabetic retinopathy, your Bloomberg Eyecare optometrist closely monitors your condition to determine if and when you need to begin treatment. They can also work with your primary care physician to ensure your diabetes is well-controlled and not causing additional damage to your eye health.

To slow down the growth of abnormal blood vessels, you may need intraocular injections of medication. When you have advanced diabetic retinopathy, your optometrist may refer you for a laser procedure or eye surgery to treat damaged blood vessels in your retina or remove excess scar tissue.

If you’re experiencing vision changes, your Bloomberg Eyecare optometrist can assess your visual acuity to determine if you need changes to your existing eyeglasses or contact lens prescription.

Call the Bloomberg Eyecare office nearest you or request an eye exam appointment online today if you have diabetes or symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.

All Bloomberg Eyecare eye doctors offer telemedicine eye consultations utilizing cellular phones, Facetime, or other connectivity technologies.