Living with diabetes is challenging, especially because complications of the disease can affect almost the entire body, including your eyes. At Rosemead Eye Center in Rosemead, California, board-certified eye physician and surgeon Elson Lai, MD, provides diabetic eye checkups and care, including treatment for diabetic retinopathy. Make eye care part of your diabetes health routine. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to make regular visits to an ophthalmologist, even if your eyes aren’t bothering you and you can see clearly without glasses.
Diabetes can lead to eye conditions that result in partial or complete vision loss. Diabetic eye checkups can detect these conditions early, before they cause vision damage.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease that’s specifically related to diabetes. It results from blood vessel damage in your retina.
Though retinopathy symptoms are mild or unnoticeable at first, it can lead to blindness if left untreated, which is why it’s important to catch the disease in its early stages.
In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetes also increases your risk of developing eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. Also, high blood sugar can cause the lenses of your eyes to swell, resulting in blurry vision.
As with other complications of diabetes, you can reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems by keeping your blood sugar under control.
When you come in for a diabetic eye checkup at Rosemead Eye Center, Dr. Lai performs a standard comprehensive eye exam and additional tests for diabetic retinopathy.
A comprehensive eye exam includes a vision test to determine if you need a new eyeglass prescription, and screenings for glaucoma and cataracts.
Dr. Lai uses eye drops to dilate your pupils so he can see your retinas and other structures in the back of your eyes. He looks for damaged or leaking blood vessels, which are signs of diabetic retinopathy.
To help Dr. Lai give you the best possible treatment, have your diabetes history handy when you come in for your appointment at Rosemead Eye Center.
This information should include when you were diagnosed, your medication history, recent blood sugar and A1C levels, and any symptoms you experience (including but not limited to eye symptoms).
If Dr. Lai finds you have diabetic retinopathy, treatment depends on how advanced the disease is. Diabetic retinopathy is either nonproliferative or proliferative:
If you have nonproliferative retinopathy, you don’t have symptoms. You can slow the progression of the disease by controlling your blood sugar. Dr. Lai closely monitors your condition to determine if you need further treatment.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy means that new, abnormal blood vessels have formed in your eye, which can cause serious complications, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, and blindness. It requires urgent treatment. Dr. Lai performs procedures in the office to seal or destroy the abnormal blood vessels.
Schedule a diabetic eye checkup at Rosemead Eye Center online or over the phone.