If you develop retinopathy, the eye doctors at Island Hospital will know when and how to treat the damage to your eyes.
People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than people without diabetes. The longer someone has had diabetes, the more common glaucoma is. Risk also increases with age.
Many people without diabetes develop cataracts, but people with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop this eye condition. People with diabetes also tend to develop cataracts at a younger age and have them progress faster. Diabetic retinopathy is a general term for all disorders of the retina caused by diabetes.
Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you are pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy.
If you have any risk factors or are experiencing any of the common symptoms for diabetic retinopathy, see an eye doctor right away. Eye doctors can check your eyes and determine if you are at risk for diabetic retinopathy using any one of six diagnostic tests:
- Visual acuity test is an eye exam that checks how well you see the details of a letter or symbol from a specific distance.
- Dilated eye exam During the exam, each eye is closely inspected for signs of common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs.
- Tonometry is a test to measure the pressure inside your eyes.
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive imaging technology for your ophthalmologistto see each of the retina’s distinctive layers to map and measure their thickness.
- Fundus photography is a specialized low power microscope with camera to photograph the interior surface of the eye, including the retina, retinal vasculature, optic disc, macula, and posterior pole
- Fluorescein angiogram is when your ophthalmologist uses a special camera to take pictures of your retina. These pictures help your ophthalmologist get a better look at the blood vessels and other structures in the back of the eye.
Sight lost from diabetic retinopathy cannot be restored, but with early detection, treatment is often very successful and can prevent your sight from getting worse.
It is extremely important for diabetic patients to maintain the eye examination schedule put in place by the retina specialist. How often an examination is needed depends on the severity of your disease. Through early detection, the ophthalmologist can begin a treatment regime to help prevent vision loss in almost all patients and preserve the activities you most enjoy.
In Island Hospital, we are committed to provide advanced, attentive, professional and convenient care. We bring world-class care to you, delivered with expertise and compassion. Learn more about our leading-edge therapies, innovative treatments, and exceptional specialty eye care.