Diabetic Retinopathy with Your Amarillo Optometrist
Eye Care Plus is dedicated to providing our patients with the best optometry care in Amarillo. Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease that requires an optometry exam as soon as possible. The disease affects the retina. The retina is the thin, inner lining located in the back of the eye. This condition is caused when the blood vessels in the retina thicken, often, they develop leaks, which can lead to poor vision and blindness.
Diabetics can develop this eye disease over the years if their blood sugar levels are not well managed (high blood sugar). Which is why frequent optometry exams by an optometrist are strongly recommended.
There are four stages - mild, moderate, severe, proliferative, and non-proliferative.
• First Stage - Mild non-proliferative retinopathy, the eye doctor will see balloon - like swelling in the small areas of the retinas’ blood vessels
• Second Stage - Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy, a few blood vessels in the retina become blocked.
• Third Stage - Severe non-proliferative retinopathy has several blocked blood vessels, which causes crucial parts of the retina to no longer receive proper blood flow, and the retina cannot grow new blood vessels to substitute the damaged ones.
• Fourth Stage - Is proliferative retinopathy. During this final stage of the disease. Extra blood vessels begin to grow in the retina, they are abnormal and very fragile. These blood vessels can leak and cause vision loss and blindness.
Characteristically, noticeable symptoms are not present in the beginning it isn’t until substantial damage has happened, and problems have developed. The most common symptoms include the following:
• Blurred, double, or poor vision
• Floaters or blind spots in the field of vision
• Partial or complete loss of vision
• Pressure and/or pain
• Constant redness (caused from leaking blood vessels)
How is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?
There are a few ways a doctor of optometry can diagnose diabetic retinopathy and the stage including but not limited the following:
• An eye exam with dilation (eye drops increase the size of the pupils, so the doctor can see clearly behind the eye, dilation is painless)
• Visual acuity test measures the ability of how well the eyes focus
• Slit lamp exam is a special lamp that allows the eye doctor to look at the structure of the eyes and check for cataracts, damage to the retina, and damage to other parts of the eye
• Tonometry is a quick and painless test to measure eye pressure
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
There are a few treatment options that the Amarillo optometrist may try including the following:
• Steroid injections in the eye(s) (the eye is numb so there is no pain)
• Steroid implants can be surgically inserted into the eye(s), that release a specific amount of medication over time
• Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the vitreous gel. This procedure can also treat retinal detachment, remove scar tissue, and repair tears or holes in the macula
Schedule an Appointment with Your Amarillo Optometrist
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye disease, if you notice changes in your vision, begin having floaters, eye pain, or any new symptoms call your optometrist in Amarillo.