Diabetes can cause a wide range of health complications, including a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, schedule a diabetic eye exam with Kim Doan, MD, and the team at Advanced Eyecare of Orange County in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, California. Early detection is critical to getting the treatment you need to prevent blindness. Call the practice or make an appointment online today.
A diabetic eye exam is similar to a general eye exam but includes additional tests to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy. For example, your ophthalmologist dilates your pupils so they can see the back of your eye, including your retina, in more detail. The ophthalmologists also offer optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescein angiography to study the blood vessels in your eyes and identify abnormalities.
If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you should have annual eye exams to allow your ophthalmologist to monitor your eye health and provide treatments to preserve your vision.
Diabetes can lead to a complication called diabetic retinopathy. When you have diabetic retinopathy, you grow abnormal blood vessels in your retina that leak blood or other fluids. The extra fluid can scar your retina, cause macular edema, or damage your vitreous fluid. All of these conditions can impair your vision and eventually lead to blindness if left untreated.
Diabetic retinopathy can cause a variety of symptoms that range in severity, including:
Diabetic retinopathy may not cause any noticeable signs in its early stages, which is why annual exams are so important. Your ophthalmologist can identify signs of diabetic retinopathy and start treatment before your vision is irreparably damaged.
If you have early signs of diabetic retinopathy, your ophthalmologist can recommend lifestyle changes to slow or reverse the progression of the disease. However, if your diabetic retinopathy is advanced, they may suggest focal laser therapy or scatter laser treatment to close and shrink the abnormal blood vessels to prevent future leakage and damage.
Your ophthalmologist may also recommend a vitrectomy to remove excess blood and fluid from your eyes. They can also remove scar tissue that pulls on your retina and distorts your vision.
If you have diabetes and are looking for expert ophthalmologists to perform diabetic eye exams and help you protect your vision, call Advanced Eyecare of Orange County or make an appointment online today.