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Unfortunately, diabetic patients suffer from more than just having to regulate their diets and lifestyles and possibly taking multiple medications or a regular injection to control their symptoms. Uncontrolled or under-controlled diabetes takes a toll on the cardiovascular system. Some diabetics even develop a condition known as retinopathy, which can lead to complete and permanent blindness.
Dr. Cooper Pediatric Ophthalmology & Family Eye Care, serving Burlingame, CA and the surrounding area, detects and treats the condition early, so you have the least amount of vision problems as possible.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to blood vessels in the retina of your eye. It may occur in patients who have either type I or type II diabetes. You're at a greater risk for the condition if you're diabetes isn't being managed or is poorly managed. If you have diabetic retinopathy, you might have spots or floaters in your vision. It's possible you're vision will fluctuate, be blurry or have dark or empty spaces. You might notice you have impaired color vision. Vision loss is possible. In most cases, both eyes are affected.
It's possible you won't have any symptoms of the condition at first. An early diagnosis is key to preventing serious complications of diabetic retinopathy. We recommend visiting the eye doctor for a routine screening if you have diabetes, so we can detect any vision problems as soon as possible, even if you're not experiencing any symptoms.
Usually, our ophthalmologist will use a dilated eye exam to view the retina. During the examination, the eye doctor will evaluate the area for abnormal blood vessels or growth of new blood vessels. An ophthalmologist will examine your eyes for fatty deposits, intravitreous bleeding, retinal detachment or abnormalities in your optic nerve.
Using a fluorescein angiography, an eye doctor may further inspect the blood vessels to see which ones are broken down, closed or are leaking. Sometimes, the eye doctor will perform an optical coherence tomography (OTC) exam. The test allows the eye doctor to see images of the retina to check for any signs of fluid leaking into the retinal tissue. Commonly, an OCT is used to monitor and track the progression of the condition.
It's best to manage your diabetes as soon as you're diagnosed with the condition in order to prevent complications. If you should happen to develop diabetic retinopathy, you might not require treatment in the early stages. The ophthalmologist may just monitor the condition and request you see your endocrinologist to better manage your diabetes to slow or prevent progression of diabetic retinopathy. Surgery may be required in more serious cases. Our ophthalmologist will be able to refer you to a surgeon if necessary.
If you have diabetic retinopathy or diabetes in general, contact Dr. Cooper Pediatric Ophthalmology & Family Eye Care, serving Burlingame, CA and the surrounding area, to schedule an appointment by calling 650-259-0300.