Diabetic Retinopathy

Hawaii Vision Specialists

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Hilo, HI

If you don’t have your diabetes under control, it can lead to additional health problems, including diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can ultimately lead to blindness. At Hawaii Vision Specialists in Hilo, Hawaii, the expert vision care team provides the highest level of care for eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy. Managing diabetes and getting regular eye exams is the best way to prevent this condition from progressing. Call to schedule a diabetic eye exam today.

Diabetic Retinopathy Q & A

Hawaii Vision Specialists

What is diabetic retinopathy?

The retina is the light-sensitive part of your eye that sends messages to your brain to interpret what you see. When you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, diabetic retinopathy can develop as a side effect. Diabetes can cause the blood vessels in your retina to become damaged, and it can eventually lead to vision loss if left untreated.

People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy as they get older. If you are able to keep your blood sugar levels at a manageable level, it can help prevent the onset of diabetic retinopathy.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

In the early stages of the disease, you may not be aware that it’s progressing. That’s why it’s important to get eye exams regularly if you are diabetic. As the condition gets worse, you may notice any of the following signs:

  • Blurry vision
  • Strings or spots (floaters) in your vision
  • Colors that appear faded or washed out
  • Areas in your vision that are dark
  • Fluctuations in your vision that go from blurry to clear
  • Poor night vision

Over time, too much blood sugar can block the tiny blood vessels that nourish your retina. When your body attempts to replace the blocked blood vessels with new ones, the new ones won’t develop properly, and they’ll leak fluid and blood into your eye.

What treatments can help manage diabetic retinopathy?

Treatment often depends on the extent of disease and how it’s affecting your health and vision. Laser surgery can seal leaky blood vessels in your eye and help prevent other ones from leaking. Retina injections can decrease inflammation and prevent new blood vessels from forming. Retina injections may also help keep the condition from progressing and causing further damage.

The team at Hawaii Vision Specialists offers Eylea® and Lucentis® retina injections, which can help control damage in your eye, and in many cases, improve your vision. Depending on your situation, you may receive one injection or a series of injections every 4-6 weeks. Your doctor will analyze your vision health and recommend the treatment that will work best for you.   

To learn more about successfully managing diabetic retinopathy, call Hawaii Vision Specialists to schedule a consultation.