Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Fairfax, VA and Aspen Hill, MD

If you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can do damage to your retina, causing its blood vessels to swell, leak or close up. All these reactions can cause damage to your eyesight. At Dr. Howard Budner & Associates, many of our patients are surprised with a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. You can have it for some time without ever noticing any symptoms or experiencing only mild vision problems. This is a perfect example of why regular eye exams are crucial for vision health; early diagnosis in diabetic retinopathy can save your eyesight if it's caught and treated in time.

Woman getting an eye exam.

Your Optometrist + Diabetic Retinopathy

You probably won't have any symptoms when you first develop this disease, but as time goes on you may start to notice some changes in your eyesight if it isn't treated. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Fluctuating vision
  • Spots or strings in your eyesight, also known as floaters
  • Impaired color vision
  • Blank spots in your field of vision
  • Blurry vision or vision loss

This disease usually affects both eyes at the same time. 

Who is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Anyone with diabetes has the possibility to develop this eye disease, but some groups have larger risk factors than others. We see more cases of diabetic retinopathy among people who've had diabetes a long time, those with poor control of their blood sugar levels, those who smoke and people with Native American, Hispanic or African American ancestry. Having high cholesterol counts or high blood pressure can also be contributing factors.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Diabetic retinopathy treatment is geared toward slowing or stopping the progression of damage to your eyesight. Once the damage has been done, it can't be repaired, which is why early treatment is so important. When you're first diagnosed, you may not need any treatment. Our optometrist will need to monitor your eyes regularly to chart the progress of your disease. The most important thing you can do in the early stages is to control your blood sugar as well as possible. Good blood sugar control is most likely to slow or stop the progression of the damage.

If your disease progresses past the beginning stages, there are options to stop the damage. Advanced cases can require focal laser treatments, scattered laser treatment or an operation called a vitrectomy, which removes excess blood and scar tissue from inside your eye.

Contact Our Local Optometrist in Fairfax, VA or Rockville, MD Today!

Early diagnosis is crucial for control and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. If you haven't had an eye examination in over a year, schedule an appointment online today.