Think you could identify one of the leading causes of blindness? At the Museum District Eye Center, our Houston eye doctor staff, led by Dr. Garcia, regularly diagnoses and manages this condition that affects about one-third of all people with diabetes.
Causes and Symptoms
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision loss and blindness if left untreated, or if the underlying diabetic condition (either Type 1 or Type 2) is poorly managed. It's caused by high levels of sugar in the blood, which is inflammatory and can disrupt blood flow to the retinas. Additionally, diabetic retinopathy can lead to an overgrowth of small blood vessels, which try to compensate for the lack of blood flow. These blood vessels can leak fluids and further scar and damage the retinas. Your retinas are on the inside of the back of your eyes and contain specialized cells that convert visual images into impulses which can be sent to the brain for processing.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may not have any symptoms right away—which is why regular eye examinations with a Houston eye doctor is essential for early detection and early intervention! Eventually, you may notice:
- Blurry vision, especially toward the center of your field of vision
- Spots or holes in your field of vision
- Impaired color vision and nighttime vision
How can an Optometrist Detect and Treat Diabetic Retinopathy?
We diagnose diabetic retinopathy on dilated eye exams, where we'll look inside your eye to evaluate retinal health. We'll also examine your personal history and vision. Based on your diagnosis, we can initiate a plan of care to minimize retinal damage and vision loss.
What are the Treatment Options for Someone Diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy?
Treatments may include:
- Lifestyle and medication management
- Laser photocoagulation (which stops new leaky blood vessels from growing)
- Vitrectomy (which removes blood and interstitial fluid that has leaked from overgrowing blood vessels into the eye)
Do You Have Diabetes? Schedule Your Next Eye Exam with an Ophthalmologist in Houston TX
Regular, consistent, and comprehensive eye care is essential for people living with diabetes in order to prevent and minimize diabetic eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy. To schedule your next eye exam with an ophthalmologist in Houston, contact the Museum District Eye Center at any of our 6 locations today or reach us at 713-333-0151 and be sure to inquire about our Diabetes Support Group.