If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, it can be hard to keep up with all of the things you need to do and have checked. Those with diabetes need to schedule regular eye exams to prevent diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels around the eye constrict and swell. This will usually occur as your blood sugar rises, causing the blood in your body to increase in viscosity. Thicker blood will cause slightly higher blood pressure. Around the eye, higher blood pressure is a problem, putting pressure on the nerves and tissues of the eye, causing a variety of issues.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of obvious warning signs to a patient that there are problems until it is too late. For example, patients' first inkling that something is wrong is when they notice new blood vessels appearing in their eyes, sometimes followed by a red spot where a small capillary has burst. By the time a patient notices this, however, the only way to fix it might be with eye injections.
An eye doctor can see a lot of the signs of the blood vessel, tissue, and optic nerve damage before a patient notices their effects on his or her health. As diabetes progresses, the high pressure in the eye can put pressure on the optic nerve. This will lead to severe headaches and blurry vision as the optic nerve becomes unable to process the light coming into the eye properly. Left unchecked, patients will start to report seeing dark spots in their vision. These are areas where the optic nerve can no longer process any visual information coming in. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your eye doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible.
Ophthalmology Professionals in Rapid City, Pierre, Belle Fourche, Spearfish, SD, and Chadron, NE
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that requires patients to get regular check-ups with their eye doctor. There are Slingsby & Hout Eye Associates Prof clinics in Rapid City, Pierre, Belle Fourche, Spearfish, SD, and Chadron, NE. We care for patients with diabetic retinopathy at each one of them. Call us today at (605) 719-9499 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.