Today is Diabetes Alert Day. Promoted by the American Diabetes Association, this day serves as a “wake-up call” to ensure individuals understand the seriousness of diabetes, as well as the risk factors. Over 30 million Americans have diabetes, and it is estimated that approximately 25% of these individuals are unaware they have the condition.
Diabetes impacts your body in many ways, and it can potentially lead to vision loss through a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy develops when elevated blood sugar levels result in damage to the blood vessels in your retina. If left untreated, you can sustain permanent vision loss from the damage to your retina. For this reason, regular eye exams are crucial if you have diabetes, and you should also be on the lookout for warning signs of diabetic retinopathy.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
In most instances, you won’t notice any symptoms during the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Symptoms don’t usually develop until the condition has reached advanced stages. This is why regular eye exams are an important way to detect the issue before it becomes serious.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses to more advanced stages, you may begin to notice the following warning signs:
- Blurry vision
- Inability to see colors
- Fluctuations in vision
- Dark strings and colorless spots floating in your visual field (floaters)
- Deteriorating night vision
- Dark, shadowy areas in your visual field
- Double vision
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Involuntary eye movement
- Difficulty with near-vision tasks such as reading
- Sudden vision loss
If you have diabetes and you begin to notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kirk at once.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
At Kirk Eye Center, we offer a variety of diabetic retinopathy treatments, including:
- Injected medication such as Lucentis, Eyelea and Avastin
- Vitrectomy, a procedure performed to remove the vitreous gel in your eye that has been affected by the damaged blood vessels and replace it with a clear fluid
- Laser retina treatment to seal leaking blood vessels, preventing additional damage
Contacts our Loveland Ophthalmologist
Please contact Kirk Eye Center using the form on this page or call 970-669-1107 today to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Loveland, Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado.