Long term eye care for diabetic patients

Diabetic Retinopathy Laser Surgery and Treatment

Diabetics face many unique health challenges, including vision loss. High and uncontrolled blood sugar levels can damage the eye and even lead to blindness. At Kelly Eye Center, we specialize in diabetic eye treatments that will allow you to protect your vision and help prevent poor eye health. From lifestyle changes to medications, we offer a variety of treatments that can be customized to address your specific needs.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

a smiling man with glasses and a gray shirt.

Diabetic retinopathy is a common eye disease that affects type 1 and type 2 diabetics. This condition directly affects the retina, which is located at the back of the eye and responsible for detecting light and creating signals that are then sent through the optic nerve to the brain. The retina contains tiny blood vessels that can become swollen and bleed when blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled.

There are four main stages of diabetic retinopathy:

Mild nonproliferative retinopathy: At this stage, areas of swelling, known as microaneurysms, occur and cause fluid to leak into the retina.

Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy: As the blood vessels continue to swell, they begin to distort and have difficulty transporting blood. This will cause noticeable changes in the appearance of the retina.

Severe nonproliferative retinopathy: Once enough blood vessels have become swollen and blocked, the retina will begin to grow new blood vessels. This is a sign of a more advanced form of retinopathy.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy: By this point, new blood vessels are growing inside the surface of the retina. These new vessels are especially fragile and more likely to leak. In addition, this growth process causes scar tissues to form, which can lead to retinal detachment and permanent vision loss.

Diabetic Eye Treatments, Raleigh-Durham

First and foremost, the best way to prevent it is to undergo regular eye exams. The early stages of diabetic retinopathy won’t involve any obvious symptoms. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect any problems and prevent further damage.

Once diabetic retinopathy has been diagnosed, there are many forms of treatment that can be used to protect your vision and prevent blood vessels from leaking and forming new growth; although, it is important to remember that there is no way to cure this disease of reverse damage.

The experts at Kelly Eye Center work with patients across Raleigh and the Triangle area to design custom treatment plans to fit their needs and protect their vision. If you are diabetic and want to protect your eye health, call us today to schedule a consultation and comprehensive eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination that may involve a visual acuity test to measure your field of vision, a dilated eye exam to examine the retina and optic nerve, a fluorescein angiography to identify abnormalities, or an optical coherence tomography (OCT) to assess the retina’s thickness and fluid health.

It may not be possible to completely prevent diabetic retinopathy from forming. However, managing your diabetes effectively, monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol, avoiding smoking, participating in regular eye exams, and adopting a healthy lifestyle will lower your chances.