If you have diabetes, it’s necessary to have regular eye exams with the expert team of ophthalmologists at Eye Center of North Florida. We are here to treat various eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition in people with diabetes when their blood sugar is too high. When blood sugar levels are too high, the blood vessels in the retina become damaged. These blood vessels can leak fluid or blood into the retina if damaged. When this occurs, it can cause the retina to swell, affecting your ability to see clearly.

Anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. However, you’re most likely to develop the condition if you’ve had diabetes for an extended time or have high blood pressure.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may experience symptoms like the following:

  • Your vision seems blurrier than usual
  • Seeing more floaters or spots in your vision
  • Finding it more difficult to see at night
  • Noticing sudden, unexplained changes to your vision
  • Your vision is more distorted

Although these are some symptoms typically associated with diabetic retinopathy, some patients may also not experience any symptoms in the early stages. They may only start showing signs of diabetic retinopathy in the later, more advanced stages of the eye condition.

If you have diabetes and start noticing vision changes, let your eye doctor know as soon as possible. Although the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are not exclusive to the eye condition, a prompt diagnosis will help ensure your eyes are being examined and looked after. 

If it is diabetic retinopathy, your ophthalmologist can determine the best next steps, including treatment.

Diagram comparing normal retina with a retina with diabetic retinopathy

Treating Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetic retinopathy, one of the best ways to treat the eye condition at Eye Center of North Florida is with anti-VEGF injections. VEGF is the protein that causes abnormal, weaker blood vessels to form and grow in the retina, which may worsen diabetic retinopathy. 

Anti-VEGF injections help block these proteins from developing. By no longer allowing VEGF proteins to form on the retina, you can help to slow down or potentially stop the growth of these blood vessels. 

During anti-VEGF injections, your eye doctor will inject the medication into the eye to target the VEGF proteins. Using anti-VEGF injections can help improve vision in diabetic retinopathy patients. They can also help prevent further damage to the retina. You may need to have anti-VEGF injections regularly to ensure their effects work.

Treating diabetic retinopathy ensures that the condition will not continue worsening. When left untreated, it can cause severe problems with your vision or even lead to permanent vision loss. Patients with diabetes should see their eye doctor regularly to ensure their eyes are healthy. If they have diabetic retinopathy, early detection, and treatment will prevent the eye condition from progressing further, preventing further vision loss.

If you think you may have diabetic retinopathy, schedule an appointment with the excellent team of doctors at Eye Center of North Florida in North Panama, FL, today!

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