Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults. This dangerous eye disease affects 77% of those with Type 1 diabetes and 25% of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, you need diabetic eye care from expert ophthalmologist Troy L. Carter, M.D., in Abilene, Texas. Getting comprehensive diabetic eye care on a regular schedule is the only way to detect diabetic retinopathy before it causes extensive eye damage. To schedule an appointment, call Texas Midwest Eye Center, LLP or book an appointment online today.
Diabetes causes blood sugar levels to rise above normal. When your blood sugar stays too high, it damages small blood vessels throughout your body, including those in your eyes.
Even though high blood sugar causes progressive eye damage, you won't have any symptoms until the problem reaches an advanced stage. With routine eye exams, Dr. Carter can detect the slightest change in the blood vessels in your eyes and treat problems years before you experience symptoms.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with Type 1 diabetes should have a comprehensive eye exam within five years of their diagnosis. Adults with Type 2 diabetes should get an eye exam right after they're diagnosed.
After your first eye exam, Dr. Carter determines when you should have the next checkup based on whether you have signs of diabetic eye disease and the severity of the problem.
Diabetes causes four serious eye diseases:
You develop diabetic retinopathy when high blood sugar damages the blood vessels in your retina. These blood vessels develop bulges that block blood flow and force fluids out of the vessels.
The fluids cause swelling and can damage an area of the retina called the macula. That's when you have diabetic macular edema.
Diabetic retinopathy may progress to a stage when new blood vessels grow. Unfortunately, the new vessels are weak and leak fluids. This fluid buildup causes scarring and can lead to a detached retina.
At each checkup, Dr. Carter performs a comprehensive eye exam. In addition to checking your vision, Dr. Carter screens for glaucoma and cataracts. Then he dilates your eyes and examines the structures inside them, looking for signs of eye disease and blood vessel damage.
If he finds any concerns, he immediately starts treatment to prevent vision changes and to treat the problem. For diabetic retinopathy, he may inject medications to slow down the damage, reduce swelling, and stop blood vessel leaks.
A critical part of diabetic eye care is keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range. This requires the guidance of your diabetic specialist, who can help you with your diet, prescribe medications, and teach you how to check your blood sugar during the day.
To get expert diabetic eye care, call the office of Troy L. Carter, M.D., or book an appointment online today.