What if my doctor sees Diabetic Retinopathy during my eye exam?
MARK STRADLING, D.O.
COMPREHENSIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY/ CATARACT SURGERY
Fortunately, most diabetics don't get to a level of retinopathy that is too severe. Many times, further retinal damage can be averted simply by doing a better job of controlling the blood sugar levels (a task much easier said than done). Regular eye exams can identify issues early on and when properly managed by the patient and primary care physician don't require further intervention. In more serious cases, sometimes the use of lasers, or eye injections are necessary to help with the bleeding. Neither are comfortable, but both can be very successful in preventing further damage to the retina. If the retinopathy is mild however, it can be monitored. Remember that a little bit of exercise can go a long way in helping maintain blood sugar levels. So put down that snack, and go for a walk. Your body and your eyes will thank you for it! Also, don't ignore the eye exam. If we catch damage early, it can usually be fixed, but like anything else, if you wait too long to fix it, it may not be repairable. And usually, if there are problems in the retina from the diabetes, it's probably happening elsewhere, like the kidneys, fingers, toes, etc.