Diabetic Eye Evaluation

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Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetes interferes with the body's ability to use and store sugar. The disease is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes damages small blood vessels throughout the body, including the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. 

Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. When people with diabetes have prolonged high blood sugar levels, fluid can accumulate in the lens inside the eye that controls focusing leading to changes in vision. 

Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Diabetes. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he or she is to develop diabetic retinopathy, particularly if the diabetes is poorly controlled

  • Race. Hispanics and African Americans are at greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy

  • Medical conditions. People with other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are at greater risk

  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women face a higher risk of developing diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. If a woman develops gestational diabetes, she has a higher risk of developing diabetes as she ages

  • Family History

 

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Seeing spots or floaters.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision.

  • Difficulty seeing well at night.

If diabetes is a concern, the eye doctors at Site to See in Windermere, Florida, can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine your visual acuity which can be dictated by your sugar levels, evaluate the current status of your retina health including  all other ocular structures that play a role in giving you 20/20 perfect vision. In most cases digital retinal imaging and optical coherence tomography will be performed to document the current status of the retina. The doctors will then discuss treatment options with you. Treatment of diabetic retinopathy varies depending on the extent of the disease which can range from controlling your diet to injections or even surgical intervention.