Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of vision loss worldwide today. In the United States alone, 40-45% of diagnosed diabetes sufferers have diabetic retinopathy. However, only half of them know it. That’s why it’s so vital to have regular eye exams with a retina care specialist like Katia Taba, MD, at Personalized Retina Care of Naples in Naples, Florida. If you’re diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy early, Dr. Taba can help you preserve your vision in many cases. Book online or by phone now.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in your retina go through changes, which result in bleeding or leakage that causes vision problems. There are two main types of diabetic retinopathy.
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy is the milder of the two kinds of diabetic retinopathy. In nonproliferative diabetic neuropathy, there isn't any new abnormal blood vessel growth. You may experience blurry vision or floaters sometimes, or you may have no symptoms.
In proliferative diabetic retinopathy, abnormal new blood vessel growth causes bleeding, leaking, and possibly retinal scarring. You may have blurry vision, floaters, and black spots in your vision. Eventually, this can cause retinal detachment and permanent blindness if untreated.
If your nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy isn't treated, it can progress into proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
If you suffer from diabetes and have uncontrolled high blood sugar, the blood vessels inside your retina can start to leak and bleed, which leads to diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that, like diabetes itself, diabetic retinopathy is controllable if you catch it early enough.
Only around 60% of diabetes sufferers undergo annual vision screenings, which may be why the amount of undiagnosed cases of diabetic retinopathy is so high. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should have yearly vision screenings starting five years after your diagnosis.
With type 2 diabetes, you should have an exam upon diagnosis and then a minimum of once a year after that. The sooner you're diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, the better chance you have to retain your vision long-term.
Controlling your blood sugar is an important part of any diabetic retinopathy treatment. It helps not just your eyes but your entire body. Recent studies indicate anti-VEGF injections are an effective treatment for nonproliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Anti-VEGF injections diminish retinal swelling by reducing blood vessel growth and leakage. Anti-VEGF is also a treatment for macular edema. Dr. Taba administers anti-VEGF as pain-free eye injections.
Laser treatment may also help. The laser can close off damaged and leaking blood vessels, which then helps diminish retina swelling. Laser treatment can also prevent blood vessel regrowth.
Both anti-VEGF and laser treatment may require multiple treatments. Dr. Taba creates a customized treatment plan for you.
Book your appointment online or by phone now.