Diabetes can have damaging effects on the body, and in no place is that more evident than the eyes. Diabetes sufferers often face a life of challenges with their eyesight as the disease attacks the delicate nerves in the eye and interferes with vision. Diabetic retinopathy is just one of the conditions that strike sufferers of this debilitating disease, robbing people of their eyesight. Fortunately, there is help.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy affects the sensitive nerve endings of the retina, in the back of the eye. These nerves, which are sensitive to light, control the way our eyes convert light to images in the brain. They cover the majority of the inner surface of the eye, and can cause vision loss if damaged.
The first stages of this condition are hard to detect, as many people have no symptoms at all. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to undergo regular eye exams to catch the disease in its early stages. Your ophthalmologist will be able to detect changes in the retina that indicate you might develop the condition.
Pregnant women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or have suffered from diabetes before the pregnancy are urged to pay additional attention to the condition of their eyes. Pregnancy has been known to aggravate and worsen the complication.
As the disease progresses, sufferers will start to notice eye changes and symptoms that signal a problem. These symptoms include:
- Floaters or dark spots in the eye
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty perceiving color
- Loss of normal vision
When symptoms start to occur, it is vital that you take immediate steps to stop the progression of the disease.
It is widely believed that excess sugar in the blood causes this condition. High levels of blood sugar cause the vessels in the eye to become blocked, rendering them ineffective. In response, the eye creates new vessels. These new vessels don’t develop properly and can rupture and leak in the eye. These ruptures cause loss of vision and damage to the eye.
Laser Surgery for Diabetic Retinopathy
There are several treatments that can control diabetic retinopathy or eliminate it altogether. First, medication to keep blood sugar levels low has shown effective in slowing the effects of the disease. Laser surgery has also been successful in eliminating malformed blood vessels that can cause vision loss.
Laser surgery is a simple procedure that will destroy abnormal blood vessels on the retina and return your sight to normal. In this procedure, your surgeon will use a focused laser that will scatter the blood vessels over a wide area of the eye, rendering them incapacitated. This will allow your normal blood vessels to take over and restore your vision.
Another method that the laser eye surgeon may use is focal coagulation, which identifies the offending nerves and seals them off with a focused laser. This precision technique stops vision loss almost immediately.
Diabetes can take a toll on the body, robbing you of your perfect vision. Fortunately, there are specialists who can help. When it comes to preserving your vision, it pays to find an experienced laser eye surgeon such as Dr. Marvelli. Contact us today at 817-346-7333 to schedule an appointment!