Diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication, can cause blindness. At North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians in Libertyville and Skokie, Illinois, the team includes ophthalmologists who specialize in the eye care needs of people with diabetes. They diagnose and treat conditions like diabetic retinopathy. Call the office today or go online to schedule your diabetes eye exam.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that affects diabetics. The excess sugar in the blood damages the systems and organs of your body, including blood vessels like the tiny vessels in the eyes.
Diabetic retinopathy causes the blood vessels in the eyes to swell and weaken or close. New blood vessels form in some people with diabetic retinopathy, growing on the retina. All of these changes in the eye affect vision.
The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy depend on the stage of the disease. There are two stages:
NPDR is diabetic retinopathy in its early stage. During this stage, the blood vessels leak, causing the retina to swell. This swelling is one of the most common causes of vision loss in people with diabetes. During this stage, your vision is blurry.
PDR is the advanced stage of retinopathy. New blood vessels grow into the retina and bleed, causing floaters or vision blocks.
The new blood vessels also cause scar tissue, which can lead to retinal detachment (when the retina pulls away from the tissues in the back of the eye). PDR could cost you the ability to see what’s in front of you (central vision loss) or to the side of you (peripheral vision loss).
The North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians team does a thorough eye exam when you come in for eye care for your diabetes. They can diagnose diabetic retinopathy during your dilated eye exam.
During diabetic retinopathy’s early stage, the team at North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians may recommend regular follow-up appointments every 2-4 months. There’s no specific treatment for early-stage retinopathy.
If you have symptoms of PDR, the disease’s advanced stage, you need to schedule an appointment right away for treatment. In this advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, the team can do laser surgery to correct the problem and prevent further vision loss.
Keeping your blood sugar within the normal range helps prevent serious eye problems.
Call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today, or schedule your diabetes eye care exam online.