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Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy Care at Naples Eye Physicians

Your overall physical health can have a major impact on the health of your eyes, especially when a condition like diabetes is involved. This metabolic problem can cause a serious problem known as diabetic retinopathy.

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If you worry about losing your vision to the damaging effects of this condition, Naples Eye Physicians can provide the comprehensive medical care necessary to preserve your eyesight.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes is the condition that occurs when your body cannot use insulin normally. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. If your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or if your pancreas does not produce much insulin, blood sugars can plunge and spike out of control.

Diabetes can do serious harm to both internal organs and blood vessels. The sugar in the blood can damage smaller, thinner-walled blood vessels, causing them to leak. The retina of the eye is nourished by many tiny blood vessels. Elevated blood sugar can cause these blood vessels to leak blood into the macula, the part of the retina that creates central vision. This leakage can cause swelling and vision problems. As more blood vessels die, others take their place -- but these hurriedly-constructed blood vessels soon start leaking as well. Blood inside the eye can interfere with your vision even as parts of the retina are progressively destroyed, possibly causing permanent vision loss.

Diagnosis and Treatment From Your Naples Ophthalmology Team

Our Naples ophthalmology team can evaluate your eyes for signs of diabetic retinopathy. A technique called ocular coherence tomography enables us to view the retina and the eye's interior for signs of tissue death, blood leakage, and excessive blood vessel regrowth. In an additional process called fluorescein angiography, we can inject dye into your arm and observe how the dye behaves inside the eye, with any leaks showing up as yellow.

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy can vary depending on the disease's effects. First and foremost, you and your physician must get diabetes under control. If your eyes have developed an overgrowth of leaky blood vessels, drugs can help stop new blood vessels from forming. Active leaks may respond to laser treatments that seal off or shrink the blood vessels, reducing retinal swelling. If your vision is obscured by blood in the vitreous fluid of the eye, we can even prescribe surgery to replace the discolored fluid with a clear, sterile substitute.

Protect Your Vision From Diabetic Retinopathy

Do not let diabetic retinopathy rob you of both your vision and your quality of life. Call Naples Eye Physicians at 239-262-6288 to schedule an evaluation from our ophthalmology team.