Diabetes occurs when your body fails to properly respond to insulin or produces an inadequate amount of this hormone. Over time, the condition can lead to various complications, such as diabetic retinopathy. In today’s post, your experienced eye doctors from Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, explain this condition in detail.
The retina is a thin layer of tissue that contains photoreceptors and is responsible for converting light into the nerve signals that your brain will translate into images. Patients with diabetes have high sugar levels, causing their blood to thicken. This can restrict blood flow to the eyes and reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to your retina, leading to visual impairment.
The Two General Phases and Their Corresponding Symptoms
If you or any of your relatives are diabetic, we recommend having a comprehensive eye exam in Rockville, MD. Diabetic retinopathy is often asymptomatic in the early stages, making early detection nearly impossible without a thorough eye exam. As the condition progresses, retinal blood vessels may start to weaken, leading to blood and fluid leaks in the retina’s central region, also known as the macula. When the macula swells, you may experience dimmed or blurred central vision.
The advanced or proliferative phase of diabetic retinopathy involves the growth of abnormal and fragile blood vessels. Once they rupture, blood deposits may appear as black dots across your visual field. They may also form scars that may cause retinal tears or detachment. You may experience central and peripheral vision problems when this happens. Left untreated, the condition can lead to complete vision loss.
Our Recommended Treatment
The most effective management is to control your blood glucose levels. We advise strict compliance with your doctor’s prescribed diabetes medications and lifestyle changes. We may also perform a dilated eye assessment so we can examine your ocular blood vessels and check for any irregularities. For more severe cases, we may suggest having laser eye surgery in Washington, DC.
If you have any further questions about diabetic retinopathy, call us at (301) 859-4060. You may also complete our form to request an appointment.