One of the most challenging parts of managing diabetes is that complications from the condition can affect many parts of your body. Your eyes are no exception, which is why the expert ophthalmologists at the practice of Dr. Wayne H. Martin, MD in Diamond Bar, California, provide diabetic eye checkups to detect diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and other conditions. Make eye health a priority in your diabetic care routine and schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.
You may not consider going to an ophthalmologist if you have good vision and your eyes aren’t bothering you. However, if you have diabetes, you’re at an elevated risk of developing eye conditions that can result in partial or complete vision loss.
Often, by the time eye conditions have noticeable symptoms, there is already irreversible damage. That’s why annual diabetic eye checkups are crucial for catching diseases in their early stages, while it’s still possible to slow or even reverse vision loss
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease related to diabetes. This condition results when diabetes damages the blood vessels in your retina, the innermost layer of your eye that senses light. Diabetic retinopathy causes either no symptoms or mild symptoms at first, but if allowed to progress untreated, it can severely damage your vision and even lead to blindness.
In addition to diabetic retinopathy, people with diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma, cataracts, and other problems.
At your diabetic eye checkup, your doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam, which will include testing your vision and screening for glaucoma and cataracts. Your doctor will also ask about your health and diabetes history.
During the exam, your doctor will dilate your pupils with eye drops to see your retinas and other structures in the back of your eyes.
While your eyes are dilated, your doctor may perform a test called a fluorescein angiography. A fluorescein angiography involves injecting a dye into your bloodstream that will highlight the blood vessels at the back of your eyes. This can reveal changes to their structure and function.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends on how far the disease has progressed. The two types of the disease and their treatments are:
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy is the earliest stage of retinopathy and usually doesn’t cause symptoms or require immediate treatment. Your doctor will give you advice on controlling your blood sugar, which will usually slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Your doctor will also regularly monitor your eyes at follow-up appointments.
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy, the advanced stage of the disease, new abnormal blood vessels form to replace damaged blood vessels. These new vessels can leak blood into your eye and increase eye pressure, leading to potentially serious complications, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, and even blindness.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy requires immediate treatment, including photocoagulation. Photocoagulation is a laser procedure that seals and shrinks leaking abnormal blood vessels.
To schedule a diabetic eye checkup, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Wayne H. Martin, MD today.