Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects the retina of your eye, or the light-receptive cells in the back of your eye that transmit a signal to the optic nerve. This condition only affects diabetics. The condition can progress and cause vision damage or even blindness. At New Vision Optical Wilmette, serving Wilmette, IL, we provide specialized eye care for diabetic patients to monitor for this condition. We also provide management and treatment options for those with diabetic retinopathy.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
When you have diabetic retinopathy, continuously high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in your retina. These blood vessels become blocked and can leak into the retina. In advanced stages, the eye will try to grow new blood vessels, but they form abnormally. These vessels leak into the vitreous, causing damage to your vision.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
You might notice that you have floaters in your vision. This could either be a spot or dark string that moves across your vision. Additionally, blurry and fluctuating vision may occur.
Diabetic retinopathy can impair your color vision and cause you to have empty or dark areas in your vision. Vision loss could occur as well. In most cases, diabetic retinopathy will affect both eyes.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
Frequently elevated blood sugar levels from diabetes can cause blockage in the blood vessels that nourish the retina.
Besides having uncontrolled or poorly managed diabetes, you're more at risk for diabetic retinopathy if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. You're more likely to experience this issue when you're pregnant. Tobacco usage is another factor that elevates your risk. Ethnicity can play a role as well. For instance, being Native American, Hispanic, or African-American puts you at an increased risk.
Fortunately, you may take steps to minimize your risk by regulating your blood sugar. If you develop this condition, our optometrist must monitor the condition carefully at every routine eye exam.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
While this condition cannot be cured, our optometrist will provide ways to manage and slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Our optometrist will perform an eye exam with several tests to diagnose your condition. For early cases of diabetic retinopathy, it is important to manage your diabetes and control your blood sugar levels. For more advanced cases, you many need medications, eye injections, or laser surgery. Our optometrist will determine what course of treatment is best for you.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Optometrist in Wilmette, IL
If you are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, it is vital to get a routine eye exam. At New Vision Optical Wilmette in Wilmette, IL, our optometrist will diagnose your condition and provide management options to prevent further vision damage. Call us today to schedule an appointment.