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Diabetic Retinopathy FAQs

man with diabetic retinopathy getting examined by optometrist

Diabetic Retinopathy FAQs With University Vision Centre In El Paso, TX


What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition of the retina (rear light-sensitive nerve tissue layer in the back of the eye) in diabetics which is caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to decreased vision or blindness. Since there are few early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, it is essential to obtain an early diagnosis and early effective treatment from a qualified optometrist.

What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

In understanding diabetic retinopathy it is extremely important to understand that high blood sugar levels in diabetics cause damage to small blood vessels throughout the body.

This same effect is apparent in the eye where elevated blood sugar levels cause damage to the small blood vessels in the retina, where it can further cause damage due to leakage, affecting central vision

Eventually, there is the formation of new fragile retinal blood vessels (called retinal neovascularization.) These new blood vessels can then bleed causing hemorrhages which damage the retina and affect vision.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

There are many symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. These include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Decreased visual acuity
  • Double vision (Diplopia)
  • Feeling pressure in the eyes
  • Chronic reddened eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Seeing spots, floaters, or flashes
  • Seeing holes or black spots in vision
  • Seeing wavy lines
  • Decreased central vision when driving or reading
  • Decreased night and color vision

How can an Optometrist Diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy?

An optometrist can conduct a visual history, a visual acuity test, a dilated retinal exam and a check of intraocular pressure to diagnose diabetic retinopathy.

How can an Optometrist Treat Diabetic Retinopathy?

Treatment options for your optometrist include laser treatments or injection of medicines to try to stop the proliferation of new retinal blood vessels. In advanced cases, a referral for retinal surgery or Vitrectomy may be necessary.

Call Today for an Appointment for a Dilated Eye Exam With University Vision Centre

Call us today at 915-533-1811 for a comprehensive dilated eye exam appointment. University Vision Centre is located at 3800 N. Mesa St. B-1 El Paso, TX 79902.

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