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Diabetic Retinopathy

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are very serious conditions. If you don't properly control your diabetes, it can result in severe complications in many systems of your body, including your eyes. Diabetes can cause a condition of the eye called diabetic retinopathy. It is characterized by damage to the blood vessels in the retina. It can also cause new blood vessels to form. Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy; however, the professionals at Vision Source Castle Hills in San Antonio can create a treatment plan to prevent permanent vision loss.

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Who Is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of developing this condition. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your chances are of getting the disease. Other factors can increase your risk of diabetic retinopathy. Those factors include:

  • Poor control of your blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Being African-American or Native American

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy often shows no symptoms. As the condition progresses, you can experience symptoms in both eyes. These include:

  • Dark spots or strings floating in your vision, also known as floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Permanent vision loss

How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

Diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, your eye doctor will dilate your eyes to examine your retina. During this portion of the exam, the doctor will check for changes including:

  • Abnormal blood vessels
  • Growth of new blood vessels
  • Scar tissue
  • Swelling, fatty deposits, or blood in the retina
  • A clear, jelly-like substance filling the center of the eye known as the vitreous
  • Abnormalities in the optic nerve
  • Retinal detachment

Your doctor may also want to run a test called fluorescein angiography. When your eyes are dilated, your eye doctor will take photos of the inside of your eye. Next, the doctor will inject a special dye in the vein in your arm. As the dye circulates through the blood vessels in your eye, they will take more photos. This test can pinpoint blood vessels that are leaking fluid, closed, or broken down.

Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy in San Antonio

If you have diabetes, it is essential that you make regular appointments with Vision Source Castle Hills in San Antonio. Regular vision checks will prevent permanent vision loss. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (210) 344-1400.