Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy

Posted: Jun 10, 2021 by The Eye Center

Individuals living with diabetes may develop vision problems as a result of diabetic retinopathy. Damage to vessels in the light-sensitive retina can cause vision loss. This diabetes complication can lead to blindness if your diabetes is not managed well, you can cause further eye damage or have a faster disease progression.

Symptoms

If you suffer from diabetes and are having vision problems, you should visit a Columbia, South Carolina eye center. Some symptoms you should watch out for are:

  • Dark floaters in your vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Changing vision
  • A decrease in color vision
  • Vision loss
  • Vision changes in both eyes

With proper diagnoses and treatment, you can slow the progression. In some cases, early intervention and treatment can stop the condition from worsening.

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose diabetic retinopathy, your ophthalmologist in Columbia, South Carolina, will perform a dilated eye exam. Using drops, they will dilate your eyes so they can see the back and inside of your eyes easier. Once your eyes are dilated, the doctor will look for any abnormalities, such as:

  • Swelling, blood, or fatty buildup in the retina
  • Abnormal blood vessels or scar tissue
  • Retinal detachment
  • Optic nerve problems

You may not need treatment immediately if the disease is caught early on. Your Columbia, South Carolina ophthalmology specialist will monitor your condition closely so you can receive treatment when you need it. If your case is advanced, you may require surgery to slow the progression. However, surgery and other treatments are not cures for this condition. You could still develop vision loss or retinal damage in the future.

If you live with diabetes, you should schedule routine eye exams. You cannot prevent vision loss but managing your risk factors, such as high blood pressure, can reduce your risk. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and reducing your cholesterol can also help your vision last longer.

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