If you have diabetes, our Williamsbridge eye doctor can’t stress enough how important regularly scheduled diabetic eye exams are. Not only are they necessary to detect any potentially dangerous problems, but to also help treat them. Statistics have shown that in the United States, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people under the age of 65. At Vision Center of New York, we are here to diagnose, treat, prevent and educate you so you not only know what your best treatment options are but also understand them. Even if your general doctor who takes care of your diabetes also checks your eyes, you should still get an eye exam every 1-2 years by an eye doctor who specializes in people with diabetes.
Our Williamsbridge eye doctor takes the time to explain that diabetes increases your risk of glaucoma and cataracts, but can also cause the eye disease known as diabetic retinopathy. As the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in adults, this vision-threatening disease is caused by changes in the blood vessels of your retina that may swell and leak fluid. The diabetic eye exam is especially important because if you do have diabetic retinopathy, you won’t necessarily notice any changes to your vision, but as times goes on it can get worse and eventually cause loss of vision. During this comprehensive exam, which is the only reliable means of detecting diabetic retinopathy, your pupil is dilated, and in order to clearly view your retina, and determine the extent of your retinopathy, a device called an ophthalmoscope will be used. The best therapy is prevention and studies show that strict control of blood sugar levels can greatly lower the risk of vision loss from this disease. Laser treatments are sometimes the first procedure recommended and is focused on leaky areas of your retina to reabsorb the surplus fluid. The main goal of laser treatments for diabetic retinopathy is to, hopefully, avoid further vision loss.
Earlier detection of diabetic retinopathy, through dilated eye exams, can help you decide to have laser surgery when it is most effective. Another laser treatment used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy is laser photocoagulation. This treatment uses heat from a laser to seal or destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels in your retina. Our Williamsbridge eye doctor will explain the best treatment options for you so you know what to expect as you proceed.