Diabetes causes complications to various body systems, including your eyes. The most common diabetic eye complication is diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, the optometry professionals at Ideal Family Eye Care can slow the progression of the disease.
Q: What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
A: This condition causes damage to blood vessels in the retina. It also causes abnormal blood vessels to form.
Q: Who Is At Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy?
A: Anyone with diabetes can develop this condition; however, certain factors can increase your risk, including:
- The longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk of developing this condition.
- Poor control of your blood sugar levels.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Q: How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?
A: This condition can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. During the exam, our eye doctor will dilate your eyes to get a good look at the retina. During the exam, they will look for:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Swelling of the retina
- Blood or fatty deposits in the retina
- Growth of new blood vessels and scar tissue
- Bleeding in the vitreous
- Retinal detachment
- Optic nerve abnormalities
If our eye doctor suspects that you have diabetic retinopathy, we will perform fluorescein angiography, which can identify the blood vessels that are leaking fluid, have broken down, or have closed. We may also perform an optical coherence tomography which will produce images of the retina. This will help our eye doctor properly diagnose you and monitor the progression of your condition.
Q: How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
A: In the early stages of the disease, our eye doctor will monitor your condition. As the disease progresses, there are a few treatment options, including:
Medication injections: We can inject medication into your eye that will stop the growth of new blood vessels.
Photocoagulation: This is a laser treatment that can slow or stop the leakage of fluid in the eye.
Scatter laser treatment: This laser treatment can shrink abnormal blood vessels that have already grown.
Vitrectomy: During this procedure, we will put a tiny incision in your eye to remove blood and scar tissue.
Eye Doctor in Chicago
At Ideal Family Eye Care, we have years of experience identifying and addressing diabetic retinopathy. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (773) 774-2200.