About Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that refers to damage in the blood vessels of the retina located at the back of the eye. It can occur in individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and is contributed to high blood sugar levels. This causes the blood vessels in the eye to leak or swell, and in some cases, new blood vessels can grow on the retina. If left untreated, symptoms can begin to worsen over time and diabetic retinopathy can even lead to blindness. At Nevada Eye Physicians, our highly skilled physicians provide diagnostic testing and treatment for diabetic retinopathy for their Nevada patients.
Causes and Symptoms
Diabetic retinopathy is a direct result of having diabetes, where chronic high blood sugar episodes have caused damage to the blood vessels in the retina. The retina is a layer of tissue found in the back of the eye which consists of light-sensitive tissue that is responsible for detecting light. In turn, diabetic retinopathy can lead to diabetic macular edema (DME), which causes fluid to build up in the central portion of the retina (known as the macula), which can lead to vision problems.
While there are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, symptoms can gradually progress. Common symptoms are:
- Vision problems, including distortion and blurriness
- Decrease in visual acuity (sharpness)
- Appearance of floaters
- Vision loss
- Decreased color vision
"Very friendly staff. My hopes were very high and my expectations were exceeded by the end result. Our doctor was personable and professional. He supplied me with detailed explanations. Scheduling was easy. Having 20/20 vision in an eye that was blurry is the highlight of my vacation."- D.P. / Google / Mar 18, 2018
"I’ve been going to NV Eye Physicians from when it was called NV Eye & Ear. The doctors and staff have been great. Dr Orton is who I’ve been seeing since the name changed. I’m very happy with my interactions with everyone, always pleasant!"- M.M. / Google / Jul 25, 2019
"I recently had cataract surgery by Dr. Surjeet Singh. I had noticed the slow onset of decreasing vision secondary to cataracts for several years. Eventually, I reached a tipping point and my vision rapidly declined. In a very short period of time my vision could no longer be adequately corrected by glasses. I had always considered surgery was something for other people and was extremely uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a patient. After receiving consults locally (and being dissatisfied), I contacted a friend who is a surgeon in the Las Vegas area. The recommendation was unequivocally for Dr. Singh. After my consultation, I understood why. Dr. Singh had my total confidence! To me, the 1500 mile flight was well spent time and money. I scheduled my surgery right away. It was quick and totally painless. There was an anesthesiologist available to provide sedation so that patients will have very little awareness of the procedure. I personally chose local anesthesia (somewhat analogous to what a dentist does), so I was completely aware of the procedure. Unlike in a dental office, there was no discomfort with the “numbing” process. During the procedure there was no pain, no vibration, no startling noises; only a very bright light that diminished over time. After the procedure there was no pain. My vision was immediately better and notably improved from week to week. I had needed glasses for over 30 years. Not anymore! I recently renewed my drivers license and easily passed the vision test without glasses for the first time in over 30 years. I suspect my vision was never as good as it is right now. I personally have two doctorates (Dentist and Physician). I am trained in surgery and anesthesia. I personally recommend Dr. Surjeet Singh without any reservations!"- GS / Office Visit / Jan 28, 2019
"I ADORE him !! He was super gentle and got my lasik done fast and easy and I love how my eyes turned out. He made me feel super comfortable and explained everything out thoroughly so I could heal as fast as possible. Go to him !!!"- J.J. / Google / Jan 04, 2019
"5 Stars and more! 7:20 AM, early morning Christmas Eve, I phoned NV Eye Physicians, Dr. Chinichian was on duty. My problems: a red sore eye, a flight out of town in 2 days, and offices closed for the holidays. He had a detailed conversation with me, then had me send photos of my eye to him. He soon phoned me back with his diagnosis, advised me what to do, and assured me that it was OK for me to fly as planned. So, 5 Stars ++ for Dr. Chinichian!"- G.G. / Healthgrades / Dec 25, 2018
Diabetics should regularly have routine comprehensive eye exams to check for any problems. We will use the visual acuity test, utilizing an eye chart to determine how well a patient can see at various distances. With tonometry, your physician will measure the pressure within the eye to see if there are any abnormalities. Pupil dilation widens the pupil so your doctor can get a better view of your retina to see what’s going on with the area. With optical coherence tomography (OCT), light waves are used to capture detailed images of the retina.
In certain cases, we may choose to use fluorescein angiography where you will be injected with a special dye that will go into your bloodstream. The fluorescent dye will highlight blood vessels in the retina to determine if any there’s any bleeding, leaking, or damage present.
Treatment and Prognosis
Drugs like corticosteroids are often given to patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy to alleviate symptoms, such as inflammation. The medications can be injected or implanted into the eye for a continuous delivery. Laser treatment uses innovative laser technology to target and burn the damaged and leaking blood vessels, preventing further leaking and minimizing inflammation. Anti-VEGF drugs may also be injected into the vitreous gel of the eye, which is a clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina. The drugs work to block a certain protein that is responsible for the growth of abnormal blood vessels which can leak fluid.
Although in certain cases there is no way to reverse vision loss or blindness, most patients can expect about a 95% reduction in the occurrence of blindness with an early diagnosis and proper treatment. Controlling diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels stable is one of the best ways to prevent or slow down the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Plan Your Visit
Treat Diabetic Retinopathy
It is especially important for diabetics in general and pregnant diabetic patients in particular to get routine eye exams to prevent complications. At Nevada Eye Physicians, we perform comprehensive eye exams for our diabetic patients to help diagnose diabetic retinopathy. To schedule your eye exam, contact one of our Nevada locations today.
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