For people with diabetes, the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina can become damaged and leak fluid or blood into the retina — or the eye itself. Damage from this process is called diabetic retinopathy.
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there are few to no symptoms. There may be a slight decrease in the clarity of vision, but, in many cases, vision appears to remain quite good. This makes it essential that patients with diabetes have regular dilated-eye exams by an ophthalmologist.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, or if bleeding occurs, your vision may become very cloudy or blurred with floaters.
Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy
At Philadelphia Retina Associates, we perform comprehensive eye exams that include dilated evaluation of the retina. When indicated, the blood vessels and swelling are further evaluated by imaging tests called digital fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography, which provide our ophthalmologists with the most accurate information possible regarding the health of the blood vessels and your retina. Results from these diagnostic tests can also be a helpful tool when laser surgery is indicated.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Philadelphia, PA
When leaking blood vessels occur, our eye surgeons can treat them with state-of-the-art laser technology and intravitreal injections of the latest specialized medications. Laser treatment is often helpful in lowering the risk of future vision loss.
Laser treatments require no incisions and are performed as in-office procedures. In more advanced retinopathy, or if bleeding into the vitreous occurs, a surgical procedure called vitrectomy may be necessary. Our experts will recommend surgical treatment only after all other options have been exhausted.
Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy
The best way to minimize the possibility of complications from diabetes is preventive care. The risks of vision loss from diabetes can be reduced with periodic dilated retinal evaluation and by maintaining good general health. Studies have shown that proper control of blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight can also help preserve your vision.
For proper diabetic retinopathy care and treatment, call Philadelphia Retina Associates at (215) 335-3088 or request an appointment now.
If you have a patient with diabetic retinopathy you’d like to refer to us, please call or use our secure online refer a patient form.