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Diabetic Eye Care

offered in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, FL

diabetic eye care

Diabetic Eye Care services offered in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, FL

More than 40% of people with diabetes develop some type of eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. The expert team at Center for Advanced Eye Care in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, Florida, provides comprehensive diabetic eye care for patients of all ages. If you or a loved one needs diabetic eye care, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Diabetic Eye Care Q&A

Why is diabetic eye care important?

Routine diabetic eye care at Center for Advanced Eye Care is an essential part of staying healthy with diabetes. People who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes need specialized eye care to prevent diseases and preserve their vision.

Many diabetic eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, might not cause noticeable symptoms in their early stages. That’s why it’s so important to see your ophthalmologist for preventive screenings.

How does diabetes affect my eye health?

Diabetes affects many parts of your body, including your eyes. High blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in your eyes. This damage can lead to a host of problems, including:

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults and the most common diabetic eye disease. This condition occurs when damaged blood vessels in your retina leak blood and other fluids, causing swelling and the formation of deposits.

Treatment for early stages of diabetic retinopathy typically involves managing your blood sugar levels to prevent the disease from progressing. If the disease progresses, the team at Center for Advanced Eye Care may recommend treatment to prevent vision loss.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy

An advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, this condition occurs when abnormal blood vessels form on your retina. These new vessels are fragile and susceptible to leaking blood and fluid, possibly leading to severe vision loss or blindness.

Treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy usually involves laser surgery to prevent new abnormal blood vessels from growing. Severe bleeding may require a vitrectomy, which is the removal of the fluid and blood inside your eye.

Diabetic macular edema

About half of people with diabetic retinopathy develop diabetic macular edema (DME). This serious condition involves fluid buildup in the macula, which is the light-sensitive area of your retina that’s responsible for detailed vision. People with DME can have trouble reading or seeing objects up-close.

The team at Center for Advanced Eye Care may recommend an in-office laser procedure called focal laser treatment to reduce the risk of vision loss due to DME.

When do I need diabetic eye care?

If you have diabetes, you should see your ophthalmologist at Center for Advanced Eye Care at least once a year. This allows them to begin treatment as soon as possible if they see signs of eye disease.

Don’t wait until you notice changes to your vision to schedule an appointment — call Center for Advanced Eye Care, or request an appointment online today.


Evaluation and Treatment

Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing eye conditions because a high blood sugar level can damage blood vessels in the eye. Over 40 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes develop some form of eye disease as a result. These conditions can cause blood or fluid to leak from the retina blood vessels or new blood vessels to grow on the surface of the retina or into the gel or other areas of the eye which can lead to significant damages to your vision and overall quality of life.

It is important for patients with diabetes to have dilated eye exams at least once a year to detect any signs of diabetic eye disease as soon as possible. You can also minimize your risk of developing diabetic eye disease by keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and is A LEADING CAUSE OF BLINDNESS in adults. Diabetic retinopathy develops as a result of changes in blood sugar levels or simply the presence of long-term diabetes. If high blood sugar levels cause blood vessels in the retina to leak blood or fluid, the retina may become swollen and form deposits.

Patients who develop diabetic retinopathy may not notice any changes to their vision at first. In its earliest stages, this condition causes tiny areas of leakage from the small blood vessels of the retina.

Early stages of diabetic retinopathy do not usually require treatment, just that patients monitor their blood sugar level to help prevent the disease from progressing. If the disease does progress, treatment may be necessary to preserve your vision. Treatment may be offered to help decrease the risk of severe vision loss.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, and is classified by the growth of new blood vessels on the retina. These blood vessels are abnormal and fragile, and are susceptible to leaking blood and fluid, which can cause severe vision loss and even blindness.

If the abnormal vessels begin to bleed, patients may begin to new notice floaters in their vision, which are actually specks of blood that appear in front of your vision. It is important to see your doctor as soon as you notice them, as the retina needs to be treated once abnormal vessels appear.

Patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy usually require laser surgery or injections to discourage the growth of abnormal vessels. Severe bleeding may require a vitrectomy, or removal of the vitreous, to remove blood from the center of the eye.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Macular edema is a serious condition that can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy and involves a buildup of fluid in the macula, the light-sensitive part of the retina that allows us to see objects with great detail. Macular edema can cause difficulty reading or doing close work, and can often greatly affect a patient’s quality of life by interfering with regular activities.

Your doctor may diagnose macular edema during your regular eye exam before symptoms are present.

Treatment for macular edema usually includes a laser procedure called focal laser treatment. This helps reduce the risk of vision loss and can even improve lost vision in a small number of cases. Focal laser treatment is performed in your doctor’s office and can usually be completed in just one session.