Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of systemic diabetes disease and is characterized by weakening of the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina, the light-sensing layer of the eye. When these weak vessels leak, swell or develop new branches, vision loss occurs.
Diabetic patients require routine eye examinations so related eye problems can be detected and treated as early as possible. The diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy is made following a detailed examination of the retina.
Ophthalmologists rely on several tests to monitor the progression of the disease and to make decisions for the appropriate treatment. These tests include indirect ophthalmoscopy, fluorescein angiography, and retinal photography.
Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy
Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy is preventable. Diabetic patients who are able to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels have fewer eye problems than those with poor control. Regular evaluations with your internist or endocrinologist are critical. Diet and exercise play important roles in the overall health of those with diabetes and may reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetics can also greatly reduce the possibilities of eye complications by scheduling routine examinations with an ophthalmologist. Many problems can be treated with much greater success when caught early. Our doctors will work with you to develop the appropriate plan of treatment.