Dr. Stolte of Stolte Eye Center located in Spring Hill Florida is an ophthalmologist specializing in Diabetic Retinopathy treatment. Please contact our office to schedule your evaluation.
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic Eye Disease is a group of diseases that affect people who suffer from diabetes. These conditions include Diabetic Macular Edema, Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataract and Glaucoma, all of which can cause severe vision loss and blindness.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Anyone with diabetes is at risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy, and that’s why regular eye exams are very important if you or your loved one has diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy is a disease which involves changes to the newly developed retinal blood vessels causing them to bleed or leak fluid. In its early stages, there may be little or no visual symptoms, so even if no obvious trouble seeing are not obvious, your eyes need to be checked regularly. High blood sugar levels from diabetes increases the risk of eye problems, and If the condition is not kept in control, it could cause some irreversible changes in your vision. Diabetes can lead to blindness by damaging the small blood vessels in your retina. It may produce symptoms that affect vision These include mild blurriness in near, or distance vision, floaters and even the sudden loss of vision. Eye specialists and eye surgeons cannot reverse the damage caused by Diabetic Retinopathy, but if caught in time, modern treatments may help slow its progression, and prevent any further vision loss. Diabetic Retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
What is Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)?
Diabetic Macular Edema is a consequence of Diabetic Retinopathy which causes swelling in the part of the retina called macula, a part of the eye which is responsible for brain seeing sharp straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, driving and recognizing faces. DME is a build-up of fluid (edema) in the macula, and it can happen at any stage of the disease, however, it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy worsens.
Patients with all types of diabetes are at risk for Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). About 50% of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of Diabetic Retinopathy, but only about a half of it are aware of it, because it often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs. Patients who are diagnosed with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam on regular annual basis. Early detection and treatment, and follow-up care can prevent vision loss and blindness.
It is challenging to know if the person has Diabetic Eye Disease because there are no symptoms in the early stages until it affects vision. As the condition worsens following symptoms may be noticeable:
Dr. Stolte will diagnose any Diabetic Eye Disease during the dilated eye exam, during which he will look for any changes in blood vessels to see if new ones are growing in the retina. He will also check if the retina is swollen or became detached.
Dr. Stolte may recommend using the laser to destroy growing and leaking new vessels in the retina. The procedure is painless, but the side effect may include difficulty to see at night or to see color. Another procedure used for treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease if the blood vessels leak into retina and vitreous is called vitrectomy. This procedure gets rid of the cloudy vision removes the blood so the patient can see better.
It is critical for patients with diabetes to be examined on a regular basis, even if they have not yet noticed any symptoms. If a patient experiences any significant change in their vision, they should contact their doctor for an immediate appointment, even if they recently had an examination. Also, work with your primary physician to keep your blood pressure in good levels. Doing so will slow the progress of diabetic retinal disease.
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