Diabetic Retinopathy (Diabetic Eye Disease) Treatment in Des Plaines, IL
Diabetes causes many health problems. One of these issues is diabetic retinopathy, commonly referred to as diabetic eye disease. This condition is a complication of diabetes that reduces vision quality. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can even lead to blindness. While there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, the right preventive measures and treatment can help.
Living with diabetes is difficult enough, and diabetic retinopathy is no joke. Request more information about diabetic eye disease treatment today: call (847) 824-3127 or contact Dr. James Katz online.
Diabetic Retinopathy Causes
Like all complications of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy can be sourced to a blood-sugar imbalance. This is when there is too much sugar in the blood, leading to diabetes and the many health problems associated. Specifically, diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the eyes.
When these vessels have too much sugar in them, they become increasingly blocked. This blockage leads to vision loss and the eye struggling to create new blood vessels normally. It's believed that high blood-sugar levels can also damage the eye's lenses.
Damage to blood vessels in the eye can also lead to scar tissue, which can cause vision loss as well. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in those suffering from both type 1 (juvenile) diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms
Some cases of diabetic retinopathy are asymptomatic, meaning that no symptoms are present. This is common for diabetic eye disease that is relatively minor or new. As the condition progresses, however, symptoms appear.
Common signs and symptoms of diabetic eye disease include:
- Blurry vision
- Dark spots
- Vision loss
- Reduction in color
Diabetic retinopathy is categorized into early and advanced stages. In the early stages of diabetic eye disease, known as nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), blood vessels do not form. This means symptoms are relatively minor.
During the more advanced stages, known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), new blood vessels that form in the eye are abnormal and prone to leaks. This can lead to blindness and other severe symptoms.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
There is no cure for diabetic eye disease. Treatment instead focuses on managing diabetes to ensure that a case of early diabetic retinopathy does not become advanced diabetic retinopathy. Common techniques for managing diabetes include:
- Weight loss
- Diet adjustment
- Blood-sugar monitoring
- Increased exercise
Correctly managing diabetes and blood-sugar can slow the development of diabetic retinopathy and prevent blindness. In cases of advanced diabetic retinopathy, however, more immediate intervention is needed. Treatments often used to treat advanced diabetic eye disease include:
- Focal laser treatment to stem blood flow
- Scatter laser treatment to shrink blood vessels
- Vitrectomy, a surgical procedure to remove scar tissue around the optic nerve
In certain cases, intravitreal injections of a medicine called anti-VEGF, which aim to reduce blood vessel growth or swelling of macula area of your retina, may help. These injections include may include:
During treatment, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb your eyes. The skin around your eyes will be cleaned and covered. Small clips will be used to keep your eyes open. Then a very fine needle is guided into your eyeball as the injection is released. These injections are given once a month initially, then less frequently as your eyesight stabilizes.
These diabetic retinopathy treatments can help slow down advanced diabetic retinopathy to avoid further vision loss, but are not a permanent cure.
Request Diabetic Eye Disease Information
Even the most advanced treatments for diabetic eye disease require successful management of blood-sugar levels and dedicated care. Request more information about diabetic retinopathy today: call (847) 824-3127 or contact Dr. James Katz online.
The Midwest Center for Sight
Address8901 West Golf Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm