Diabetics face an elevated risk of developing several different eye diseases, including cataracts and glaucoma, as they age. Another eye disease that is almost exclusively linked to diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Because we strongly believe that everyone deserves to have clear vision, Heritage Eye, Skin & Laser Center treats Stockton, Manteca, Lodi, and Amador County patients with diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases as part of our focus on senior eye care and vision correction.
About Diabetic Retinopathy
Anyone with type I or II diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy over time. The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes eventually damage the blood vessels, and the extremely delicate vessels in the retinas of the eyes are among the most at-risk vessels in the body. As the disease develops, these vessels rupture, leaking fluids into the eye and damaging the retina. The retina functions like a screen on which images are projected and then sent to the brain, so damage to it causes profound and often permanent vision loss. This disease can also lead to glaucoma, cataracts, and even retinal detachment.
The disease does not begin to show symptoms until it has already started to advance, making regular eye care a crucial part of the diabetics medical routine. As the retina is damaged, patients usually experience floaters, double vision, and impaired close vision, eventually culminating in severe vision loss. Pregnant women with diabetes are at particular risk and should be evaluated during each trimester of pregnancy.
Mild cases may be treated with careful diabetes management. Advanced cases may require laser treatment or surgery.