Diabetic Eye Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
Diabetic retinopathy, otherwise known as diabetic eye disease, is a common medical condition that often leads to visual impairment. This disease is caused by damage to the blood vessels or the neurons of the retina within the eye. As the disease's name suggests, it usually coincides with diabetes. As diabetes leads to a buildup of glucose, that glucose can disrupt the blood flow of vessels to the retina. This disruption leads to visual problems. The longer someone is diabetic, the more likely they are to develop this condition.
There is also proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a more severe form of the disease. In the proliferative version, new blood vessels begin to grow within the eye. The lack of oxygen can lead to more vitreous humor, as well as a cloudy vision and a damaged retina.
Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic retinopathy is often asymptomatic early on, making it difficult to spot in the early stages. Blurred vision is a common symptom, as is difficulty in visual activities like driving or reading. Some people with diabetic retinopathy will report seeing spots, caused by specks of blood floating through their visual field.
You have a higher likelihood of developing diabetic eye disease if you have either type of diabetes mellitus. Around 40 to 45 percent of diabetic Americans have some form of this eye disease.
Diagnosis of Diabetic Eye Disease
If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, consult with your optometrist in Woodstock for further action. Diagnosis can be determined by a number of methods. Some doctors will have you take a visual acuity test using an eye chart. There is also pupil dilation, where eye drops are placed within the eye so that the doctor can examine the retina more closely. In omthalmoloscopy, a microscope is used to view the retina. Other imaging tests include the fundus fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography.
During an eye examination, the optometrist will look for leaking blood vessels, damaged nerve tissue and leaking blood vessels. If a patient is already known to have diabetes, then an eye screening may be done to check for diabetic retinopathy.
Seeking Treatment in Woodstock, ON
At the very least, diabetic eye disease can develop into a mildly discomforting condition that affects your ability to do everyday visual tasks. At the most, diabetic eye disease can lead to blindness. Doctors recommend that you find help if you are regularly experiencing visual problems.
There are a number of effective treatment options to treat diabetic eye disease, including laser surgery, vitrectomy, or corticosteroid injections. If you want to further discuss treatment plans, don't hesitate to call us at (519) 421-3303.