Diabetic Retinopathy Care in San Antonio
If you have diabetes, you need regular eye exams because the condition can also affect your vision. One problem that could arise, especially from unregulated blood sugar, is diabetic retinopathy. But, you don't have to lose your sight. Regular visits to an eye doctor, like at Vision 3C Specialists in San Antonio and Floresville, can give your ophthalmologist a chance to treat this condition before it steals your eyesight.
About Diabetic Retinopathy
The retina at the back of your eye needs adequate blood flow to correctly transfer light to your brain, where it gets converted to images. In diabetics, blood vessels may leak from swelling, close from blockages, or grow in abnormal places. In all three instances, the retina does not get the blood it needs and does not work as it should.
Diabetic retinopathy has two main steps during its progression. First is non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). This step happens at the earliest stages of diabetes, impacting the vision. In NPDR, the blood vessels swell and leak into the retina.
Over time, the retina will attempt to compensate for its lack of blood flow. New blood vessels will grow in the area. This new growth indicates proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). This second stage of the condition causes the new vessels to leak blood into the gel-like substance of the eye called vitreous, blocking vision.
Often, diabetic retinopathy does not cause symptoms. However, when this condition worsens, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- An increasing number of floaters across the vision
- Dark areas in vision
- Seeing faded colors
- Fluctuations between clear and blurry vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
How an Eye Doctor Diagnoses This Condition
If you have diabetes, you need to regularly see your eye doctor. While your vision may seem fine now, the initial phases of NDPR may not cause obvious changes. To check for this condition, your doctor may conduct a dilated eye exam. With the pupils widened, your eye doctor can see through to your retina and look for problems with the blood vessels that indicate diabetic retinopathy.
Treatment Options for Diabetic Retinopathy
The treatment you receive depends on the condition of your eyes and how well you have your blood sugar controlled. Because high blood sugar can impact the blood vessels in the eyes, monitoring your glucose levels and keeping them in the target zone your doctor requires will prevent further damage to your eyes.
If your condition has progressed to the point of affecting your vision, you may need strong interventions such as laser therapy, anti-VEGF or corticosteroid drugs, or eye surgery to correct the damage to your blood vessels.
We at Vision 3C Specialists Are Here to Help
Diabetes affects every part of your body, including your eyes. Make regular eye exams part of how you manage your condition. The easiest way to do that is by finding an eye doctor you can trust, like our Dr. Trujillo at Vision 3C Specialists. As an ophthalmologist, he can monitor medical eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy.
To make an appointment at either our San Antonio or Floresville locations, call us at (210) 538-2020. Let our staff help you with protecting your vision even if you have diabetes.