Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, damages the blood vessels in the eyes because of diabetes. There could be one or many symptoms of the condition, and without appropriate treatment, this can result in permanent vision loss. If you need treatment for diabetic eye disease in San Antonio, you can choose from numerous specialized clinics. Here is an overview of the condition, risk factors, and symptoms. 

Symptoms and complications of diabetic retinopathy

In most cases, patients don’t have any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy in the early stages. Since symptoms are not apparent, annual eye checkups are so crucial for patients with diabetes. The condition can impact both eyes. Common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include blurred vision, difficulty in recognizing colors, eye floaters, streaks in vision, and inability to see clearly in the dark. Some patients may lose vision completely if the condition is not diagnosed and treated. A common complication of diabetic retinopathy is vitreous hemorrhage, which may cause the patient to see floaters and eventually lose vision completely. In other cases, complications may include detachment of the retina and glaucoma. 

What are the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy?

The risks of diabetic retinopathy are higher if the patient has uncontrolled blood sugar levels and has hypertension. Risk factors also include high cholesterol, smoking, pregnancy, and long-term diabetes. 

Diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy

By the patient having evident symptoms, diabetic retinopathy has most likely progressed to an advanced stage. The patient will need a dilated eye exam, which allows the doctor to see the interiors of the eye to find any abnormalities in the retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels. The doctor will also check for scar tissues and if there is a change in eye pressure. Another option is to perform fluorescein angiography, where a dye is injected into the patient’s arm, to find any damage to the blood vessels inside the eye. Doctors may also use Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), an imaging test to get images of the retina. 

The treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends on the condition and symptoms. Controlling blood glucose levels is an important start, and if the patient is healthy enough to undergo other procedures, the doctor may select a treatment option. Scatter laser surgery and other surgeries can help besides medications. If you have diabetes, you should get screened for diabetic retinopathy at least once every year. 

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Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, damages the blood vessels in the eyes because of diabetes. There could be one or many symptoms of the condition, and without appropriate treatment, this can result in permanent vision loss. If you need treatment for diabetic eye disease in San Antonio,...