Diabetic retinal disease affects people with diabetes, a common condition caused by a hormonal deficiency. At his offices in Chiefland and Gainesville, Florida, leading ophthalmologist Maher Fanous, MD, and his North Florida Eye Center team provide expert diagnosis and treatment for patients with diabetic retinal disease. They also offer routine screening for anyone with diabetes to identify the condition before it affects your sight. To arrange your diabetic retinal disease screening, call North Florida Eye Center today or go online to book an appointment.
Diabetic retinal disease (diabetic retinopathy) is a complication of diabetes. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can’t use what’s available (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a hormone that regulates the sugar levels in your blood. When you have diabetes, your blood sugar could be too low or, more commonly, too high.
Diabetic retinal disease is one of the many complications diabetes can cause. Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) is the first stage. This is where damaged blood vessels in the retina begin leaking fluid and small amounts of blood. The blood vessels may also swell or become clogged.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a severe form of diabetic retinal disease. It happens when blood vessels in your retina close up, preventing blood flow into your eye. Your retina reacts by growing new blood vessels to restore the blood supply; however, they’re delicate and likely to bleed.
The bleeding causes macular edema (swelling in a part of the retina), and scars are likely to develop. PDR affects central and peripheral (side) vision, so it might cause more severe sight loss than NPDR.
Diabetic retinal disease often causes no symptoms until your eyes suffer irreversible damage. The first signs are usually blurred vision and seeing spots in front of your eyes.
Using special eye drops to dilate your pupils, your North Florida Eye Center doctor can examine your retinas to look for the changes diabetic retinal disease causes. They may also scan your retinas if they need to see them in greater detail.
Treating diabetic retinal disease might require retinal laser therapy or corticosteroid injections into your eyeballs.
Retinal laser therapy or laser photocoagulation stops the problem blood vessels in your eyes from leaking. It also prevents new blood vessels from forming.
Corticosteroid injections might sound alarming, but your eye doctor uses a fine needle and completely numbs the eye. These injections reduce swelling and inflammation and prevent fluid leaking from abnormal or damaged retinal blood vessels.
By managing your diabetes correctly and seeing your North Florida Eye Center doctor regularly, you can reduce the risk of needing diabetic retinal disease treatment.
To arrange your eye exam or discuss any diabetic retinal disease symptoms you develop, call North Florida Eye Center today or schedule a consultation online.