Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects individuals with diabetes. Not only that, but the disease can also lead to permanent vision loss. However, with proper eye care and management, the impact of diabetic retinopathy can be reduced or even prevented. At Lock Family Eye Care in West Des Moines, IA, we provide comprehensive eye exams to accurately diagnose diabetic retinopathy and treatment that can preserve your vision.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage these blood vessels and cause vision problems. The two types of diabetic retinopathy include:
• Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: This type of diabetic retinopathy occurs in the early stages when the small blood vessels in the retina become weak and cause fluid to leak. As a result, the retina may become swollen as well.
• Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: This type of diabetic retinopathy is less common and happens in the advanced stages due to blood vessels that grow in the retina. These vessels may bleed into the eye and cause severe vision problems.
The Importance of Eye Exams
Visiting our optometrists for regular eye exams is crucial for individuals with diabetes. The exams can help with early detection and management of diabetic retinopathy. Routine eye exams can help with the following:
• Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy — Regular eye exams help our optometrists detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy before it causes significant vision problems
• Prevent Disease Progression — Prompt treatment slow the progression of the disease and prevent health issues
• Specialized Treatment — In some cases, treatments like laser therapy or injections can be administered to help manage diabetic retinopathy effectively
• Monitoring of Overall Health — Eye exams can also provide insights into a patient's overall health, as certain eye conditions may be indicative of other health problems
How to Manage Diabetic Retinopathy
• Control Blood Sugar Levels — Keeping blood sugar levels within their normal levels is the most effective way to prevent or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy
• Regular Eye Exams — Patients with diabetes visit us annually for a comprehensive eye exam and consultation. If diabetic retinopathy is present, eye exams be needed more frequently.
• Blood Pressure Control — High blood pressure can significantly affect diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, it is crucial to manage blood pressure effectively.
• Healthy Lifestyle — Maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and avoiding smoking can be highly beneficial for your eye health.
Contact us for an Appointment Today
If you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, let our team at Lock Family Eye Care in West Des Moines, IA, help. We will develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce any further vision loss. To learn more about our treatments or to schedule your appointment, call us at (515) 267-1312 today. When you need an optometrist near me, we are happy to assist you!