Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Newtown and Richboro PA
Richboro optometrist Dr. Kathleen Joyce works with people from all walks of life in her clinical practice. At EYECARE for You, many of our patients come to us with an underlying history of diabetes. This common chronic health condition affects more than your blood sugar and insulin levels. In fact, people with diabetes are at an increased risk for vision loss from a condition known as diabetic retinopathy.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs in people with diabetes and affects the light-sensitive tissues inside the back of the eyes called the retinas. The condition is associated with damage (caused by chronically elevated blood sugar levels) to the small blood vessels in and behind the retinal tissue. This damage causes the blood vessels to leak fluids, which overtime can distort vision.
In later stages of diabetic retinopathy, new small blood vessels begin to grow as a way to compensate for the previous blood vessel damage. However, these new blood vessels are abnormal and tend to leak even more fluids, further damaging the retinas and impairing eyesight.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy typically don't show up until long after the condition has already developed. If the condition progresses enough, a person may begin to notice "floaters" in their field of vision. Progressive vision loss and blindness can occur if diabetic retinopathy continues untreated.
How Our Optometrist in Richboro PA Diagnoses and Manages Diabetic Retinopathy
There's good news for people with diabetes: diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed even before symptoms develop. This early diagnosis is essential because it means that interventions can be provided as soon as possible and helps a person avoid or minimize vision loss. Our optometrist in Richboro uses advanced technology and techniques during dilated eye exams to examine and evaluate the health of your retinas.
If diabetic retinopathy is detected on your eye exam, she can work with you and your primary care physician to initiate appropriate treatment and management:
- Lifestyle modifications to improve underlying diabetes and blood sugar control
- Pharmacology, including oral medications and ocular injections, to control and prevent abnormal blood vessel growth
- Surgical support for procedures which can remove bloody fluid from inside the eyes, cauterize abnormal leaky blood vessels, etc.
- Low vision strategies and prescription eyewear to optimize current vision
Do You Have Diabetes?
People with diabetes need to have their eyes checked more regularly, and we make it easy to schedule an appointment with our optometrist in Richboro, PA. If you're due for an eye exam or have concerns about your vision and ocular health, call your local office today (215) 485-5384.