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What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

One of the many complications arising from diabetes is retinopathy, or damage to the retina that can lead to permanent blindness. In Illinois, this is a condition that is easily prevented if those with diabetes visit an available eye doctor in Naperville, Aurora, Niles or other location in and around Chicago. Diabetes patients should have their eyes examined frequently by a trusted eye care specialist.

Diabetes is a serious condition that affects your entire body, including your eyes. If you have diabetes, you should inform your eye doctor at your next appointment—otherwise, you could fall victim to a serious vision loss condition.

Symptoms and Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy

Unfortunately, the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy aren't always easy to detect. The best way to detect this condition is through visits made to an eye doctor, which ensure that you receive the best possible preventative eye care and treatment. There are some symptoms that your doctor can detect, including blurred vision and spots of blood as a result of blood vessels forming toward the back of the eye.

Other symptoms present in those with diabetic retinopathy include dark or blind spots in the field of vision, problems with color vision or an increase in floaters (debris such as strings or specks). Anybody experiencing these symptoms should see an eye care specialist, and may be required to wear prescription eyeglasses or undergo other treatments.

People at Risk

People with Type I and Type II diabetes are all equally at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer a person has had diabetes, the more the risk of eye problems increases. Nearly half of Americans diagnosed with diabetes experience some form of diabetic retinopathy, meaning that all diabetics should make regular appointments with their eye doctors.

Proper Diagnosis and Treatment

A typical visual acuity test using an eye chart can help detect vision problems in those with diabetes. Ophthalmoscopy, or examination of the retina, is an in-depth procedure that a professional eye doctor may perform. There are also several other examinations and screenings that your eye care specialist may use to properly diagnose your condition and recommend treatment. Leaking blood vessels, fatty deposits on the retina, nerve damage, and other harmful changes in blood vessels indicate to your eye doctors that you are experiencing retinopathy.

Although prescription eyeglasses may be required to improve vision, there are several other treatments that can help reverse vision loss caused by retinopathy. These treatments include laser surgery, corticosteroid or Anti-VEGF injections, and vitrectomy, which involves removing portions of the vitreous gel from inside the eye. Laser surgery can help reduce blood vessel swelling in the eyes as well and improve your vision.

If you have diabetes, you should see your eye care specialist on a regular basis. Schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. To set up your annual exam visit www.rosineyecare.com.

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