About Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes is an ever-increasing epidemic in America, and our eyes are one of the first places that the damaging effects of diabetes can be detected. This is why our board-certified ophthalmologists, Dr. Allison Young, Dr. Kristin Held, and Dr. Teresa Whitney, recommend that patients receive routine eye exams to monitor their vision. Diabetic retinopathy is a spectrum of eye disorders that are seen in patients with diabetes. Both insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blockage, swelling, and leaking of the retinal blood vessels. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can even lead to blindness. If you have Type 1 or 2 diabetes, we encourage you to call Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center in San Antonio, TX to get evaluated by one of our skilled ophthalmologists to ensure there are no issues or concerns with your eyesight.
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"Hands down the best decision you can make for your over all eye health and your vision. Dr. Young and her staff made me feel validated and appreciated. As a patient that’s all you can hope for and more. With Dr. Young’s guidance, choosing the cataract removal with the symfony lens implant has forever changed my view on life.... (see what I did there). :)"- A.K. / Google / Aug 06, 2019
"I highly recommend Dr. Held. Her conscientious and careful approach to her patients is followed by excellent skills and follow up. I highly respect Dr. Held I all respects and stress that she is an amazing woman."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 26, 2019
Signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the stage and severity of diabetic retinopathy but may include:
- Flashes and floaters
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Dark or shadowed areas of vision
- A decline in the ability to identify color
In general, the poorer your blood sugar control and the longer you have had diabetes, the higher your risk of developing retinopathy. This is why it's so important to properly manage and monitor your blood sugar levels and to follow the advice of your primary doctor and/or endocrinologist. High blood pressure can cause the retinal blood vessels to become thicker or swollen, which can cause them to burst and spill blood into the retina and vitreous body. This phenomenon can eventually lead to retinal and optic nerve damage.
There are several effective treatment options for diabetic retinopathy. Our physicians at Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center will assess the severity of the retinopathy and refer you to a retinal specialist if indicated. The treatment will be tailored to your specific case. In recent years, various medications (steroids or anti-VEGFs) have become available for injection into the eye. These injections reduce the leakage of blood and fluid from the abnormal blood vessels seen in diabetic retinopathy. In addition, treatment for leaking or damaged blood vessels may also include laser therapy to cauterize and seal the vessels before further damage occurs. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in diabetic retinopathy.
Treat Diabetic Retinopathy
To detect and prevent diabetic retinopathy, we strongly encourage maintaining control over your Type 1 or 2 diabetes and receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams. At Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center, our skilled team of eye care professionals can perform a series of diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy to preserve your ocular health. Reach out to our San Antonio, TX office to set up an exam today.