Treat diabetes-related eye disease with a Springfield eye care specialist.
People with diabetes need to take special care of their eyes. They are at higher risk for serious eye complications including glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, a progressive disease that damages sensitive eye tissue and steals vision.
There are steps you can take to help keep your eyes healthy, including managing your diabetes and getting regular eye exams.
Unfortunately, there are no early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the blood vessels and eye tissue. It is vital that individuals with diabetes have comprehensive, dilated exams annually to catch this disease before it progresses.
Find a doctor specially trained in detecting and treating diabetic retinopathy.
The eye is made up of a complex system of tissues and fluids that is supported by a network of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood vessels.
Complications of diabetes can change the health of these blood vessels affecting the availability of nutrients, the supply of oxygen, and the management of fluids.
Long-term, these complications can irreversibly damage important areas of the eye used for sight, including the retina and the macula.
Eye doctors identify diabetic retinopathy by the stage of disease progression including:
Many additional complications are possible including scarring and shrinking of tissue and detachment of the retina and the development of glaucoma. Untreated, proliferative diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss or blindness.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy focuses on slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. The good news is that advances in medical laser technology and surgery have created many promising options for treating diabetic retinopathy and preserving useful vision.
The first step is regular monitoring by an eye doctor to detect and track disease progression. In the later stages of the disease there are two treatment methods:
Despite these advances, diabetic retinopathy can cause significant vision loss. Talk to your doctor about low vision support including telescopic and microscopic lenses, hand and stand magnifiers, and video magnification systems that can help make the most of remaining vision.