Addressing Diabetic Retinopathy with an Optometrist on Our Team
Diabetic retinopathy is a vision problem impacting people with diabetes. Sometimes, the condition is present before patients notice it. That’s why our team at Meridian Eye Care in Yankton, SD, is here to provide insight on the condition, what to look for, and how to prevent it in the guide below.
What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
As if diabetes isn’t enough to deal with in every other way, it can also impact your eye health. You likely know that diabetes damages your blood vessels and constricts blood flow. When this occurs, it affects the blood vessels at the back of the retina. Over time, it can cause your blood vessels to start being weakened and can even cause the retina to be damaged.
While not everyone experiences symptoms – at least not in the beginning – many people with diabetes do. These symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Floaters, which are dark spots or strings in your vision
- Empty spots in your vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Noticing that colors look faded
- Complete vision loss
How to Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy
As diabetic retinopathy is directly related to diabetes, the most important prevention method is managing your diabetes and blood sugar levels. Some of the best steps to follow for this purpose are:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Taking any prescribed medication as you directed
Another integral step is to visit your optometrist regularly. This should be done as soon as you’re diagnosed with diabetes, even if you don’t yet have any symptoms. Doing so will allow them to catch any issues before they become severe. Early detection is one of the best methods of limiting the effects.
During your visit, an eye doctor on our team may dilate your eyes so that they can get a good look at what’s going on inside your eye. They may also use OCT or optical coherence tomography, which scans the retina to detect any detachment.
Another potential test is OCT angiography. This utilizes a special dye to help an optometrist on our team see how well your blood is flowing and whether it is leaking.
If any issues are detected, there are a few methods of potential treatment. Medication can help reduce swelling and slow vision loss. Laser surgery is an option to stop blood vessels from leaking.
Other surgery options, like a vitrectomy, can help remove scar tissue, gel, and any blood that has leaked out. After an examination, an optometrist on our team can help recommend the best course of treatment.
Prevent Total Vision Loss from Diabetic Retinopathy with an Optometrist on Our Team
Don’t let diabetic retinopathy stop you from enjoying the visual beauty of life. Schedule an appointment with us at Meridian Eye Care serving Yankton, SD, by calling (605) 665-8688.