Diabetes can affect your entire body, and your eyes are no exception. To help make living with diabetes a bit easier, the team of experienced ophthalmologists at Ramirez & Poulos, MD, PA, in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, diagnose and treat diabetes-related eye health conditions, including diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is preventable, but it’s important to know your eye health risks and manage your diabetes. To schedule a diabetic eye checkup, call the office to request an appointment today.
You might not think of eye care as a necessary part of your health routine if you can see clearly without glasses and you don’t have any bothersome eye symptoms. But eye care is especially important if you have diabetes. The disease increases your risk of developing serious eye conditions that can result in partial or complete blindness.
The primary eye health risk people with diabetes face is diabetic retinopathy. This condition results from damaged blood vessels in your retina, the light-sensing innermost layer in your eye, and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
You’re more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy if your blood sugar isn’t stabilized and your risk increases the longer you have diabetes. As with other diabetes complications, you can lower your risk of diabetic retinopathy by managing your diabetes.
In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetes increases your risk of developing eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts.
The best way to prevent diabetic eye complications is to get an annual checkup at Ramirez & Poulos, MD, PA, so your ophthalmologist can diagnose any conditions before they become serious. Many eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, cause mild or no symptoms in their early stages. Often, more serious symptoms are a sign of irreversible damage to your vision.
Your diabetic eye checkup includes a thorough eye exam. Your ophthalmologist tests your vision and screens for glaucoma and cataracts. They also ask about your diabetes history, including when you were diagnosed, what medications you take, the results of recent blood sugar and A1C tests, and any related symptoms you experience.
To screen for diabetic retinopathy, your optometrist dilates your pupils using eye drops. This allows them to look at your retinas for changes and abnormalities.
If you show signs of diabetic retinopathy, your optometrist refers you to an ophthalmologist. Your treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends on whether you have the nonproliferative (early) or proliferative (advanced) form of the disease:
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy usually doesn’t require immediate treatment or cause symptoms. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep your blood sugar under control and monitor the condition of your eyes. If you manage your diabetes, you can usually slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy means that abnormal blood vessels have formed in your retina to replace damaged blood vessels. It requires urgent treatment to prevent serious complications, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, and blindness.
Treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy can include photocoagulation, a laser procedure that shrinks abnormal blood vessels and prevents them from leaking.
To schedule a diabetic eye checkup at Ramirez & Poulos, MD, PA, call or use the online booking tool today.