Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among U.S. adults. It strikes both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Individuals with diabetes are often unaware of how the disease can damage their vision. At Capital Eye Medical Group, Dr. Ayazifar offers regular comprehensive eye exams which are essential for diagnosing and treating this condition. If you live in or around Grass Valley or Roseville, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy
When left uncontrolled, diabetes can eventually cause diabetic retinopathy and destroy the retina. In most cases, retinopathy develops in both eyes.
There are two types of retinopathy. The nonproliferative type causes the small vessels in the rear of the eye to swell, eventually stealing the retina’s blood supply. With proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels form, grow and keep the retina from receiving enough blood. Blood can leak from the weakened vessels, causing floaters, blurry vision, black spots in the visual field, and a loss of central vision.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
As the amount of time an individual has been diabetic grows, so do the risk factors for developing retinopathy. Patients in the early stages might not perceive any symptoms. Eventually, they are likely to notice:
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Increasing numbers of spots or floaters
- Holes or dark areas in the visual field
- Trouble interpreting colors
- Blurred vision
Our goal is to stop the retinopathy or at least slow its progression. The most appropriate therapy depends on how severe the disease is. Keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar levels controlled is very important. Patients whose blood sugar is well controlled by following a specific diet and taking prescribed medication can sometimes regain some lost vision.
Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis are injected anti-VEGF medications that help some individuals by reducing the swelling of the eye’s macula. This can slow the vision loss and might improve the patient’s vision. Another option is injecting steroids to reduce the swelling of the macula.
Laser surgery seals leaky blood vessels and stops their continuing growth. For patients with proliferative retinopathy, a surgical procedure known as a vitrectomy is sometimes an appropriate option.
Schedule an Exam at Our Grass Valley or Roseville Offices
Our team at Capital Eye Medical Group is dedicated to improving and preserving your vision. We provide services ranging from the treatment of diseases of the eye to surgery. Our patients love the personal care and individual attention they receive during their visits, whether they are suffering from diabetic retinopathy or another eye disorder. Call our Roseville office today at (916) 797-6747 or our Grass Valley office at (530) 273-3190. You can also reach Dr. Ayazifar through our website by using our online contact form.