If you have diabetes, getting regular eye exams can lead to early detection and treatment of eye diseases that, if left untreated, can cause serious vision problems and even blindness. At New York Ophthalmology, our ophthalmologists provide diabetic eye care in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens (Jackson Heights and Jamaica) to New York City and Long Island residents.
Diabetes and the Eyes
High blood sugar associated with diabetes can cause systemic complications when it’s not closely monitored. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can affect the blood vessels in your eyes, leading to blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and a condition called diabetic retinopathy—damage to the retina that’s directly related to diabetes. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels associated with diabetes are also related to diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy typically worsens over time if not treated, causing permanent eye damage and even blindness. This occurs when blood vessels on the retina’s surface break and pull the retina from its normal position. This condition, called retinal detachment, requires prompt medical attention.
There are typically 2 types of diabetic retinopathy. They are:
- Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy: In its early stage, diabetic retinopathy may cause mild symptoms or there may not be any symptoms at all. This form of retinopathy occurs when blood vessels become weak but have not yet broken or caused scar tissue.
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy: As the condition becomes more advanced, it often causes noticeable visual disturbances. It occurs when blood vessels begin to grow abnormally.
Helping People Is What We Do
Symptoms & Risk Factors
- Visual disturbances, such as blurriness, that come and go
- Floaters, spots, or shadows
- Pain in your eyes
- Early development of cataracts
People with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes are all at risk for diabetic retinopathy and its complications, including diabetic macular edema.
Cataracts and Diabetes
Glaucoma and Diabetes
Caring for Our Diabetic Patients
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy may range from careful monitoring to laser-assisted surgery. Our specialists clearly explain each of your options and ensure you’re well-informed before moving forward with any procedures.
If you don’t have a primary care physician to help manage your diabetes, our eye doctors can refer you to physicians in the area who specialize in treating diabetes.
Diabetic Eye Care FAQ
In the beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy, patients are generally asymptomatic, with occasional reports of blurred vision. As diabetic retinopathy advances, patients may experience symptoms such as blurred vision, floaters, and/or distortion.
Can diabetic retinopathy go away?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition for most. While there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, its progression can often be halted with retina treatments, including eye injections, lasers, and surgery.
How can diabetics take care of their eyes?
Controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels is important in the care of diabetic retinopathy. Regular doctor visits, improved diet, and exercise are also very important.
To learn more about the special eye care considerations for people with diabetes, request an appointment using our online form, or call our office at (866) 599-8774 to schedule an appointment with our ophthalmologists at one of our NYC or Long Island locations.
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