Routine Eye Exam Can Diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye condition that strikes people with diabetes. This eye disease occurs when glucose in the blood reaches high levels that it damages blood vessels in the retina, causing them to either swell, leak, or close up. Diabetic retinopathy can also prevent blood from reaching the light-sensitive retinal tissue. If left untreated, this condition can lead to blindness. The fact that it often shows no symptoms at first makes annual dilated eye exams vitally important. Some of our patients never know they have diabetes until they visit Eye Care Center-Ballantyne in Charlotte for their annual optometry exam.
As part of a check-up, your optometrist will administer eye drops formulated to dilate the pupils. This is done to view what is going on within the eye. When the eyes are fully dilated, your doctor can examine them for problems like the following:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Bleeding in the vitreous, the jelly-like clear substance that fills the center of the eye and maintains its round shape
- New growth of blood vessels and scar tissue
- Fatty deposits
- Swelling or blood in the retina
- Optic nerve abnormalities
- Detached retina
Tests That Can Diagnosis Diabetic Retinopathy
Once the pupils are dilated, your optometrist will photograph the interior of the eye. Next, he will inject dye into an arm vein and take more pictures as the dye circulates through the eye's blood vessels. These images can then be used to identify the blood vessels that are swollen, closed up, or breaking down.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
This is an imaging test that produces pictures of the retina, which can allow your eye doctor to determine by its thickness whether there is swelling in the macula.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy, in its earliest stages, exhibits no symptoms, but as it progresses, symptoms may develop including:
- Blurry vision or vision that occasionally switches from blurred to clear
- An increasing number of floaters
- Poor night vision
- Dark or blank areas in your field of vision
- Colors appear faded or washed out
If you notice any of the above symptoms, you need to schedule a visit with your optometrist immediately.
What You Can Expect At Eye Care Center-Ballantyne in Charlotte
When you schedule an appointment with our optometrists at Eye Care Center-Ballantyne in Charlotte, we will test you for diabetic retinopathy if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. If detected in its earliest stages, we can closely monitor your condition to determine what type of treatment is best for you. Call us today at (704) 541-5500 to make an appointment. We're a full-service eye care provider in Charlotte devoted to promoting good eye health for all of our patients.