Diabetic Eye Center
The Diabetic Eye Center at Carolina Eye Associates is dedicated to excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic eye disease, a group of eye problems that includes diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma, all of which are worsened by inadequate blood sugar control.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of vision impairment among adults with diabetes. It is often without symptoms in its early stages and vision changes may not occur until the disease has progressed severely. Retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. The longer you have had diabetes, and the more the blood sugars fluctuate, the more likely you are to have retinopathy. The damage can lead to problems with your vision, including blindness.
Symptoms include blurred vision, black spots, flashes of light and holes in your vision. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
Early detection, before the retina has been badly damaged, is extremely important in reducing vision loss from this disease. Laser treatment is usually very effective at preventing further vision loss. Your eye surgeon may use the laser to seal leaking blood vessels or destroy abnormal vessels. Surgical removal of the vitreous gel (vitrectomy) may also help improve vision if the retina has not been severely damaged.
Sometimes injections of antiVEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) medicine help to shrink new blood vessels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
How can I help prevent eye problems with diabetes? Work with your medical doctor to control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Maintain a normal weight, limit unhealthy fats, substitute complex carbohydrates for simple carbohydrates, participate in an exercise program and do not smoke.
Regular eye exams are particularly important if you have diabetes. A thorough eye exam can identify problems early on while there are still options for treatment. Early treatment can help stabilize the eye and prevent further vision loss.