Diabetic Retinopathy

Eyecare Professionals

Optometrists located in Mandan, Hazen & Washburn, ND

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including diabetic retinopathy associated with vision impairments. Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing permanent vision loss. The experienced optometrists at Eyecare Professionals in Mandan, Hazen, and Washburn, North Dakota, use the most innovative technologies during eye exams to monitor your eye health and vision. Schedule an appointment with Eyecare Professionals over the phone or online today.

Diabetic Retinopathy Q & A

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy affects your eyes and is a complication of uncontrolled diabetes. It damages blood vessels and can cause retinal damage, bleeding, and blindness if it’s left untreated. 

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, especially if your blood sugar isn’t well controlled, you’re at risk of diabetic retinopathy and vision problems associated with it.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Symptoms might not be present in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. However, as the disease progresses you might experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Floating dark vision spots or strings
  • Impaired color vision
  • Changes in your vision
  • Vision loss

If you have diabetic retinopathy, you likely notice symptoms of the disease in both eyes. Early detection is important, as it helps prevent permanent vision loss.

What happens during an eye appointment?

During an eye appointment at Eyecare Professionals, your optometrist reviews your medical history and symptoms. They might complete vision tests and dilate (widen) your pupils with eye drops to get a better view inside your eyes.

During a dilated eye exam, your optometrist completes a series of eye imaging tests to detect diabetic retinopathy. Your vision might be a bit blurry for several hours afterward until the eye drops wear off.

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?

To diagnose diabetic retinopathy, your practitioner looks for the following signs of the disease during your dilated eye exam:

  • Retinal swelling
  • Blood in the retina
  • Abnormal blood vessels
  • Scar tissue
  • New blood vessel growth
  • Fatty deposits in the retina
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding in the center of your eye
  • Optic nerve abnormalities
  • Retinal detachment

Your eye doctor may also look for signs of cataracts and measure eye pressure to check for glaucoma.

What is the treatment for diabetic retinopathy?

If you have diabetic retinopathy, your optometrist refers you to a specialist for treatment. Your personalized treatment plan may include tightly controlling your blood sugar to prevent disease progression, focal laser treatment, injecting medicine into your eye, or eye surgery.

Annual dilated eye exams to monitor retinal health are crucial when you have diabetes. Schedule your next eye exam with Eyecare Professionals by phone or online today.