As the name indicates, diabetic eye disease is an eye condition that’s related to diabetes. The condition causes damage to the blood vessels of the retina. Diabetic eye disease can be divided into two categories. The first one is known as NPDR (short for Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy), in which patients have blood vessels that are leaking in the retina. Over time, this can cause ischemia. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a progressive condition where unusual blood vessels grow and causes vision loss. In San Antonio, you can talk with eye experts and doctors like Swati Kumar OD, FAAO for help. Below is an overview of the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment details.
The Risk Factors
Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy, which is valid for all people diagnosed with Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes. Risk factors also include high blood pressure, pregnancy, uncontrolled blood glucose levels, and hyperlipidemia.
What Are The Common Symptoms?
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, patients may not have any evident symptoms. Once the condition progresses, symptoms may become more apparent. Patients may experience blurred or distorted vision and can find it hard to distinguish between colors. Night blindness, eye floaters, and trouble reading are other common symptoms.
How is the Diagnosis Made?
Your ophthalmologist will do a few tests to find possible signs of eye damage. They will check for visual acuity and intraocular pressure, besides pupil response and peripheral vision. During a routine exam, you will be given eye drops to dilate the pupils so that your ophthalmologist can check the interiors of the eyes.
What are the Treatment Options?
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your doctor may not take any steps and choose to wait to see if the condition progresses further. If treatment is required, injections can help. Corticosteroids can be injected into the eye, which can help in slowing the progression of the disease. Laser surgery can help reduce the swelling of the retina and shrink the blood vessels. If the patient has cloudy vision because of the leaking blood vessels, a vitrectomy procedure can improve vision. The procedure may also involve removing some of the scar tissues.
If you have diabetes, you should go for routine eye exams at least once a year. You can check online for clinics in San Antonio that offer treatment for diabetic retinopathy.