If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are at a high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness in the US.
Frequent eye exams are recommended so that signs of the disease are caught and treatment can be started as soon as possible. Dr. Terry Reynolds has the experience and skills necessary to ensure the health of your eyes.
Eye Care for Diabetics
Schedule an appointment with an eye care professional every year
Monitor and maintain control of high blood pressure
Maintain tight control of your blood sugar levels
Background Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eye, causing leakage of blood and serum. The damaged blood vessels and resultant leakage cause blurred vision. No treatment is required for mild background diabetic retinopathy. In some instances, laser treatment is used to stabilize the retinal blood vessel abnormalities and leaks.
Background diabetic retinopathy is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy. It can lead to more advanced sight-threatening stages (for example, proliferative diabetic retinopathy) and is considered a warning sign. Careful periodic medical eye examinations are mandatory once background diabetic retinopathy is noted.
Sometimes a test called fluorescein angiography is recommended to determine the location and extent of the leakage. In this test, a yellow dye is injected into the hand or arm, and a number of photographs of the retina are taken.
What can you do to help the background diabetic retinopathy? Studies have shown that careful attention to maintaining good blood sugars, regular exercise, and attention to diet can make a significant difference. Good blood pressure control is also important. Finally, as noted above, careful periodic eye examinations is your best protection against loss of vision. Since, in most cases, early-stage background diabetic retinopathy does not present symptoms, careful monitoring and treatment can be initiated before sight is affected.
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
This condition causes abnormal blood vessels to grow inside the eye in a response to diabetes. These new blood vessels, called neovascularization, are very fragile and can cause a great deal of havoc through both scarring and bleeding inside the eye. New blood vessels grow in response to diabetes that has been present for some time. It is a serious complication of diabetic retinopathy.
The abnormal blood vessels may also promote the formation of scar tissue causing danger of a detached retina. Abnormal blood vessels may also grow on the iris (the colored part of the eye), causing a form of glaucoma.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is generally treated with a laser. One of the greatest advances in ophthalmology in the past 20 years has been the application of laser energy to the treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In many instances, the laser will cause the new blood vessels to reabsorb. The most recent promising technology involves the use of Avastin injections.
When you need advice about your diabetic eye care, schedule an appointment with
Dr. Terry Reynolds.
Ask Dr. Terry Reynolds about Avastin injections and laser treatments if you have a degenerative eye disease caused by diabetes.
With 37 years of experience, Dr. Terry Reynolds can handle your eye care related needs.
From fitting contact lenses and eyewear to diabetic and pediatric eye care, trust the knowledgeable optometrist in Decatur, AL.