Many ailments of other parts of the body can manifest themselves as a problem of the eyes. One such disease is diabetes, the inability of the body to control the amount of sugar in the blood. Diabetes causes a disorder in the eye called diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. The retina of the eye is damaged when the blood vessels are affected, new vessels may form and start to leak or hemorrhage. The Retina Group of Washington is the retina specialist in Silver Spring. Our doctors have extensive experience evaluating and treating patients with diabetic eye disorders.
Until the condition gets to an advanced state there maybe no symptoms of retinopathy that the sufferer notices. When it gets to an advanced state vision becomes blurry and may fluctuate. In proliferative diabetic retinopathy the formation of new bleeding blood vessels causes specks or large floaters that can block vision. A comprehensive eye exam as part of diabetic eye care by our retina specialist in Silver Spring is the best way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. Our doctor will dilate the eyes and may perform a fluorescein dye test and/or an optical coherence tomogram, which is a photo of the detailed cross-section of the macula to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. Certainly, anybody diagnosed with diabetes should have their eyes checked by our doctor for diabetic retinopathy but many times it works the other way when our eye exam discovers early signs of the retinopathy, which then leads to the patient going to his primary care doctor to diagnose possible diabetes.
Diabetic eye care by our retina specialist in Silver Spring recommends prevention as the best way to handle diabetic retinopathy. Frequent eye examinations and control of blood sugar and diabetes can prevent the disease from occurring. Once the disease has been detected and starts to advance laser surgery is often used to stop the blood vessels from leaking. The goal of laser surgery is to allow the excess fluid to be reabsorbed and to prevent further vision loss. Steroids and anti-VEGF medications are also used to control retinopathy. Unfortunately, there is no way to restore the vision that has already been lost to diabetic retinopathy. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or see specks floating before your eyes make an appointment to be evaluated by our doctor as soon as possible.