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The uncontrolled blood glucose levels that often accompany diabetes can create blood vessel problems throughout the body. Diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, causes damage to the retinal vessels in the eyes. Retinopathy has no symptoms early on, and, if not detected early, the condition can progress to VTDR (Vision Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy) and vision loss. That’s why, if you or a loved one have diabetes, you can receive specialized care at our local eye doctors in Amarillo.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of adult blindness, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Early diagnosis and careful management of diabetic eye diseases can prevent or delay vision loss in the vast majority of patients, 90% in fact, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Even with this great prognosis, half of the diabetics don’t get the early diagnosis they need, because they neglect frequent eye exams.
If you have diabetes, make your eye exam a priority, even if our eye doctors near Amarillo may ask to see you more often than the typical annual exam recommendation, given to our patients in general. We also conduct more in-depth eye exams, including dilation, for our patients with diabetes. By properly monitoring patients at risk for diabetic eye disease, we can identify retinal damage early on, before you notice any symptoms. Early detection helps us to manage the disease, in coordination with your family doctor, and work to slow its progression.
Remember, you may not experience any symptoms until your condition becomes serious. Ideally, you should be visiting your eye doctor regularly before symptoms appear. Call your optometrist for an appointment immediately if you notice any of the following signs of possible retinal damage:
At Balfour Optical, your Amarillo optometrist, we create personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's needs. Initially, we focus on ensuring you manage your blood sugar, which may entail that you visit your family physician to ensure you’re doing all you can. By decreasing blood glucose, you can slow the gradual worsening of your eye disease. In addition, we can provide several treatment options, if and when they become necessary, including:
If you or a loved one has diabetes, you're at great risk for diabetic retinopathy, as well as cataracts and glaucoma. Preserve your vision for life by making eye care a priority. Get a comprehensive eye exam annually, or more often if recommended by our eye doctors near Amarillo. Contact our Amarillo optometrists at Balfour Optical. Contact us today at 806-355-4407.