If you’re one of the more than 30 million people who have diabetes in the United States, you need to take extra precautions when it comes to safeguarding your vision. At Retina Specialists of Colorado, Dr. Ross Chod works with his diabetic patients in Aurora, Colorado, to prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy, which affects almost 7.7 million Americans. For vigilant diabetic eye care, call the office or request an appointment using the online booking tool.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. If glucose levels are consistently too high over time, it can cause extensive damage in the blood vessels throughout your body, including the ones found in your retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy.
When sugar builds up in your bloodstream, it can damage the blood vessels in your retina, causing them to swell and leak, or close off entirely, cutting off the supply of blood to your macula.
In the early stage of diabetic neuropathy, the tiny blood vessels in your eyes may leak, causing swelling in your retina. As the disease progresses, your retina may develop new fragile blood vessels, a process known as neovascularization. These new vessels can bleed and cause scar tissue, which can greatly affect your vision.
The most common signs of diabetic retinopathy are:
These symptoms typically affect both of your eyes.
When treating diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Chod’s goal is to prevent the disease from taking hold in the first place, which he can do with regular diabetic eye exams. He knows what to look for, even when you don’t have any symptoms, allowing him to quickly intervene. This early intervention is key in guarding your vision. With regular monitoring, Dr. Chod can help you manage your diabetes to prevent permanent damage to your eyesight.
If your diabetic eye disease is starting to progress, Dr. Chod turns to intravitreal injections, including anti-VEGF and steroid injections to stop the growth of new blood vessels in order to prevent swelling and leakage and to prevent scar tissue from forming.
In more advanced cases of diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Chod uses laser treatments to stop the leakage in your eyes and shrink the blood vessels. The type of laser treatment depends upon your unique situation, and he sits down with you to discuss your options.
To gain the upper hand on diabetic retinopathy, call Retina Specialists of Colorado or request an appointment using the online form.