Diabetic Retinopathy FAQs

Your Ashburn Optometrist Answers Diabetic Retinopathy FAQs

Diabetic retinopathy can affect people with gestational, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the higher the risk is for them to suffer diabetic retinopathy. Although about 40 percent of those with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy, only 20 percent are aware they have this disease because it does not cause symptoms until in an advanced stage. If you have diabetes, it is important to your vision and eye health to receive regular examinations from your doctor of optometry in Ashburn.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Elevated levels of blood sugar may damage blood vessels in retinal tissues. When vessels start weakening and leaking fluids into the eye, vision impairment is likely unless this leakage is treated with injections of medicines to stop leakage or laser surgery for sealing vessels. In addition, diabetic macular edema may also affect eyes suffering diabetic retinopathy. DME involves swelling of the macula, an important component of your retina.

What are Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy does not cause symptoms until it has progressed to the point of affecting your vision. Leaky blood vessels may produce “floaters” or dark spots in your vision field or make both near and distant objects seem blurrier. Some people may feel a dull ache, pressure or pain in their eyes. Diagnosing diabetic retinopathy requires your Ashburn optometrist examine your eyes using visual acuity tests, tonometry, and pupil dilation. Optical coherence tomography is also helpful for detecting diabetic retinopathy in its early stages.

What Treatment Can a Doctor of Optometry Provide for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapy involves injecting drugs such as Avastin into the eye’s vitreous gel to reverse the growth of weak blood vessels. Laser-based treatments also work well to seal or “weld” vessels in specific areas of fluid leakage. Laser therapy for diabetic retinopathy can also dissolve damaged blood vessels to help reduce the amount of blood leaking into the retina.

How Can I Make an Appointment with an Ashburn Optometrist?

Call today at (703) 687-4719 to schedule an appointment with an Optics&EYECARE Doctor of Optometry for a diabetic retinopathy examination.

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