Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy and Related Conditions
If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your eye health for diabetic retinopathy and other common health concerns that can impact your vision. At the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, Dr. Emilio M. Justo and his talented Medical Optometrists Dr. Mark Yates and Dr. Emily Marsh, provide regular exams and advanced diagnosis for diabetes-related eye conditions. Our team of experienced providers also offer a full range of treatments to protect your eyesight. If you suffer from diabetes, it is important to be proactive about your eye health. To undergo a screening for diabetic retinopathy and other conditions, schedule an exam at our Phoenix practice today.
Diabetic Eye Exams
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus can increase your risk for a number of eye diseases. Because of the increased risk for vision damage, it is essential that you undergo diabetic eye exams at least once a year. If you have already been diagnosed with an eye disease, you should schedule more frequent appointments. At these exams, your doctor will look for various conditions, including:
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetes-related eye condition. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels of the eye, cutting off oxygen and nourishment to the retina. In response, the body will grow new blood vessels. Unfortunately, abnormal development causes the new vessels to leak blood, resulting in a loss of vision. In some cases, scar tissue will form and pull on the retina, increasing the risk for retinal tears or detachment.
Patients with type 1 diabetes do not usually develop this condition for at least five years after diagnosis. Type 2 patients often have eye problems at the time they are diagnosed. With both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the risk for diabetic retinopathy increases the longer a patient has the condition. Fortunately, timely diagnosis and control of your blood sugar levels can protect your remaining eyesight.
The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Blurred vision
- Flashes and floaters
- Dark spots on the visual field
- Problems with night vision
Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy
Doctors cannot restore vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy. However, there are a number of treatments that can control your symptoms and prevent further vision damage. Steroid injections can diminish enlarged blood vessels, and may improve your vision. If you do not respond to this more conservative option, we may recommend more aggressive treatment. In these cases, Dr. Justo's team and our in-house retinal specialist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, which may include laser treatment. Our advanced lasers can shrink swollen blood vessels and prevent them from leaking blood. The treatment involves minimal discomfort and conveniently takes place right here in our office.
Schedule Your Eye Exam
Dr. Justo and our team are committed to preserving your vision so you can continue to enjoy the activities you love. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or a related eye disease, contact our office to schedule an appointment.