Diabetes is a common systemic condition that can cause blindness. An annual diabetic eye exam is a necessity for all diabetic patients. This systemic condition can lead to diabetic retinopathy as time goes on if one’s sugar levels are not well controlled. Diabetic retinopathy leads to the damage of retinal blood vessels. The damage of this retinal vasculature can cause leaking of fluid into the macula to form diabetic macular edema (DME). Symptoms of blurry vision are noticeable when DME is present. If abnormal blood vessels start to grow due to the lack of oxygen getting to the retina, then the person may be at risk for developing a tractional retinal detachment or neovascular glaucoma.
The development of diabetic retinopathy is dependent on the following:
The treatment of diabetic retinopathy is dependent on the signs that are evident. If diabetic macular edema is observed, then anti-VEGF or focal laser can be administered to restore vision. If there is new blood vessel growth on the retina, then laser photocoagulation therapy is needed to ablate these vessels. It is important for diabetic patients to receive annual diabetic eye exams and check-ups for retinopathy because signs can be evident before symptoms are actually experienced. Dr. D’Orio Eyecare offers diabetic eye exams at both our locations.