The College Station optometrist team at Urban Optics meets hundreds of people every year living with diabetes. This chronic metabolic condition places a person at increased risk for a variety of eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy.
About one-third of the estimated 285 million people around the world living with diabetes are believed to have diabetic retinopathy. It's considered one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy happens when blood vessels behind the retina (a thin tissue on the inner rear eye that contains cells to help you see) become damaged and leaky. This blood vessel damage occurs from high levels of sugar in the blood (a hallmark of diabetes); sugar is inflammatory and toxic to tissues and organs.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, new blood vessels may grow behind the retina as compensation for damaged ones, which can lead to further fluid leakage and retinal damage.
There aren't signs of diabetic retinopathy early on in the disease process (but it can still be detected at this stage on a dilated eye exam). When retinal damage is severe enough, common symptoms will include:
Floaters or flashers in your line of sight
The blurry vision which may fluctuate
Difficulty seeing colors or seeing at nighttime
Diabetic retinopathy can't be cured, but with proper eye care services and diabetes disease management, the progression of the condition can be better controlled. If you work with an optometrist in College Station for treatment of your diabetic retinopathy, you can expect the following services:
Dilated eye exam to observe inner and outer eye anatomy and vision (these will be needed more regularly compared to people without diabetes, so we can closely monitor the progression of your disease)
Pre- and post-operative management if you require procedures such as photocoagulation (to stop the growth of leaking blood vessels), vitrectomy (which removes blood-filled fluids from the eye), or medicated eye injections
Updated prescription eyewear and low vision strategies to compensate for existing and progressing vision loss
Contact Urban Optics in College Station, TX now at (979) 401-0800 to schedule an eye exam and diabetic retinopathy screening for you or a loved one. Our diagnostic and therapeutic services support optimal eyesight at any age!