Diabetic Eye Disease Services from Your Optometrist in Greer, SC
One serious eye disease associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. A regularly scheduled vision exam by our Blue Ridge Vision optometrist in Greer, SC is crucial for an accurate and early diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help preserve an affected individual’s sight.
Overview of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that affects the retina, which is the nerve layer lining the back of an eye. It is a progressive disorder that occurs when small vessels in the retina leak blood and other fluid. As a result, tissue swells and affects vision.
Our eye doctor notes that when a diabetic’s levels of blood sugar remain high, diabetic retinopathy continues to advance. New retinal blood vessels that can easily break open appear, causing blood to leak into the eye. This can alter vision and cause scar tissue, resulting in a detachment of the retina.
When diabetic retinopathy causes the macula in the middle of the retina to swell, vision can worsen, making it hard to see details. Legal blindness might even result.
High blood pressure also causes this disorder to worsen. Pregnant women face an elevated risk for diabetes and developing diabetic retinopathy.
Most patients with this condition experience no symptoms until their vision starts to change. The most common signs include:
- Spots or floaters
- Blurred vision
- Seeing a dark or empty area in the central visual field
- Trouble seeing at night
- Pain in the eye
- New loss of vision
Treatment Options from an Eye Doctor
An eye exam from an eye care professional is the only way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. The appropriate treatment depends on the severity. The goal of our eye doctor is stopping disease progression whenever possible, or at least slowing it.
Optometrists diagnose the disorder during comprehensive eye exams. This exam includes evaluating a patient history, taking visual acuity measurements, refracting the eyes, assessing eye structures, and measuring internal pressure. Other potential tests include retinal photography and fluorescein angiography.
The basic therapies to treat diabetic retinopathy include the use of medication, surgery, and laser procedures. If the condition progresses, a patient might need more than one set of treatment.
Our doctor sees early-stage patients for regular exams and monitoring. He also periodically performs refractions to determine the need for corrective lenses. While the eyes are dilated, he examines the retina and other eye structures and takes pressure measurements.
Patients can practice self-care measures to help preserve their vision. One of the most important is taking prescribed medication to keep blood sugar and blood pressure levels under control.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Greer Optometrist
Undergoing a regular eye exam from our Greer optometrist can help preserve your sight. Our doctor, Gordon Johnson, provides a full range of optometric services ranging from prescribing corrective lenses to resolving computer vision issues and recognizing health issues such as glaucoma.
Be sure to call our Blue Ridge Vision practice today at 864-877-3031 to schedule an appointment.