Diabetic Retinopathy

Ophthalmologists located in Saratoga, CA
Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy services offered in Saratoga, CA

Unmanaged diabetes often leads to other health complications, including diabetic retinopathy — an eye condition that may lead to blindness if ignored. At Saratoga Eye Institute, Dr. Ho Sun Choi, MD, provides the highest standard of care for patients in Saratoga, California, and the surrounding communities. If you have diabetes and notice changes in your vision, it could be diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy Q &A

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Using light, your retinas send messages to your brain to interpret the images you see. If you have uncontrolled Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it’s possible to develop diabetic retinopathy as an additional side effect of your disease. 

If diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels in your retinas and you don’t treat it, it can lead to permanent vision loss. As you age, you become more susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy as a side effect of diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar levels manageable may help prevent the onset of symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.

If you already have signs and symptoms of the condition, follow up with your doctor, as vision loss is common but can sometimes be reversed.

What are the signs of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a slowly progressing condition, so you may not notice it as it develops in its early stages. Regular eye exams are the best way to detect and prevent diabetic retinopathy, especially if you have any of the following warning signs and symptoms:

  • You see faded colors instead of bright, vibrant colors
  • You see strings, spots, or floaters in your line of sight
  • Blurred vision
  • Some areas of your peripheral vision appear dark
  • Your vision fluctuates between being in focus to becoming blurry
  • You have difficulty seeing at night

These common symptoms occur when too much blood sugar blocks the tiny vessels nourishing your retinas. As your body attempts to replace the blocked blood vessels with new ones, the new ones don’t develop properly and leak fluid and blood into your eye.

What treatments are available if I have diabetic retinopathy?

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy usually depends on the condition’s extent and how it affects your vision and overall well-being.

If you have mild to moderate diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Choi monitors your vision and eye health to determine when you need treatment. However, if you have a more advanced form of the disease, you may need laser surgery to correct the problems within your retina.

There are several different laser surgical procedures to correct diabetic retinopathy, and the team at Saratoga Eye Institute determines which one is most effective for your condition.

Additionally, injecting medicine called vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (VEGF) into your eye can also help stop new blood vessels from forming and causing problems with your vision.

Laser surgery and VEGF injections often slow or stop the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Still, since diabetes is a lifelong condition, you must follow up with Dr. Choi to prevent further damage to your retinas and vision loss.

To learn more about this condition and available treatments, call Saratoga Eye Institute or request an appointment online at your earliest convenience.