Diabetes is a very serious condition that can cause complications in various parts of your body. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. This condition is characterized by damaged blood vessels in the retina. It can also cause new blood vessels to form. Fortunately, the professionals at AB Vision Jamaica can create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease.
Who Is At Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy?
Anyone who has diabetes can develop this condition. However, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of getting it. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your chances are of developing diabetic retinopathy. Other risk factors include:
- Poor control of your blood sugar
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco use
- Being Native American, African-American or Hispanic
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy has no obvious symptoms. As the disease progresses, so do the symptoms. They include:
- Blurry vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Spots or dark strings floating in your vision, also known as floaters
- Impaired color vision
- Dark areas in your vision
- Vision loss
How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?
This condition can be diagnosed during an annual eye exam. During the exam, your eye doctor will check for the following things:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Growth of new blood vessels and scar tissue
- Blood or swelling in the retina
- Bleeding in the vitreous
- Abnormalities with the optic nerve
If your eye doctor suspects that you have diabetic retinopathy, they will perform additional tests.
How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
In the early stages of the condition, your eye doctor may just monitor you closely. As the disease progresses, there are a few treatment options to slow the progression of the disease.
- Laser focal treatment: This laser treatment can slow or stop blood and fluid from leaking in the eye.
- Scatter laser treatment: This laser treatment is designed to shrink abnormal blood vessels.
- Vitrectomy: This is a surgical procedure where a tiny incision would be made in your eye to remove blood from the vitreous. Any scar tissue that is tugging on the retina can also be removed.
- Medication: Your doctor can inject medication directly into your eye that will prevent the growth of new blood vessels.
Visit Our Ophthalmologist
If you have diabetes, you need to schedule regular appointments at AB Vision, Jamaica. We treat patients in Jamaica, Linstead, Kingston and the surrounding areas. Our doctors of ophthalmology will examine your eyes, and create a treatment plan based on the severity of your condition. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.