Diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy, results from diabetes. It develops when the blood vessels in the retina part of your eye become damaged. Common symptoms of diabetic eye disease San Antonio include blurry vision, impaired color vision, poor night vision, dark spots in the center of your vision, or total vision loss. You may not have any symptoms in the early stages, so it is important to seek dilated eye exams once yearly to detect the condition early and help prevent complications.
Untreated diabetic eye disease can lead to loss of vision. Managing your diabetes is the most effective way to prevent diabetic retinopathy. Below are effective ways to treat diabetic retinopathy.
Controlling your blood sugar levels can help stop the progression of your diabetic eye disease. Certain lifestyle changes can help manage your blood sugar levels. Ensure you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get regular checkups, maintain a moderate body weight, quit smoking, and moderate alcohol intake. Also, take your medications as your doctor prescribes and follow all self-care instructions.
If your diabetic eye disease is in the early stages, your specialist may suggest watchful waiting. It involves the specialist monitoring your eye closely without intervention to help determine if or when you need treatment. You may have to get regular eye exams, usually after every two to four months.
Laser treatment involves your specialist placing numbing medicine in your eye and aiming a strong beam of light into the eye using special lenses. The beams of light shrink your eye blood vessels and seal the leaks from abnormal blood vessels. After the treatment, the bright light can feel uncomfortable. Small spots can also appear in your visual field for a few weeks after the process. Laser treatment can lead to complications like peripheral, color, and night vision, so discuss benefits and complications with your doctor before the procedure.
Your doctor can administer injections into the affected eye to help reduce swelling and leakage from blood vessels. These injections may include anti-VEGF drugs and corticosteroids. During the treatment, your provider numbs your eye, cleans it to prevent infections, and administers the medication in your eye using a tiny needle. Your doctor may recommend regular injections, but you often get them less frequently over time.
You may benefit from a vitrectomy if your retina or vitreous is affected. Vitrectomy involves removing some of the vitreous from your eye. It focuses on replacing cloudy vitreous or blood to improve your vision and enable your provider to find and repair any retinal bleeding sources. After surgery, your specialist will recommend you wear an eye patch for about a day and use eye drops to minimize swelling and prevent infections. Surgery does not cure your diabetic retinopathy but helps slow or stop the progression of your symptoms.
Diabetic eye disease occurs when the blood vessels of the retina are damaged. There are various treatments for the condition, including lifestyle changes, watchful waiting, laser treatment, injections, or eye surgery. Schedule an appointment at Alamo Eye Care for diabetic eye disease treatment to prevent vision loss.