Diabetic Retinopathy Glaucoma
Diabetes has been linked to a number of health conditions, including eye diseases. Over time, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels inside the eyes. At Pacific Retina Specialists in Beverly Hills, CA, Dr. David Parks is equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of retinal diseases and diabetes-related eye conditions.
In this blog post, our team explores diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma in a little more detail. We will also discuss the available treatments that can manage these conditions.
About Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by damaged blood vessels in the retina. In the early stages, this condition may not present any symptoms at all. Left untreated, however, it can eventually lead to blindness.
This condition can occur in any individual with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop it. Common symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Dark floaters that appear as spots or strings
- Fluctuating vision
- Vision loss
Managing Diabetic Retinopathy
While diabetic retinopathy cannot be cured or altogether prevented, there are treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. Mild to moderate diabetic retinopathy is often monitored by your doctor. The most effective solution is treating the underlying condition. As a result, patients should work with their endocrinologist to improve their diabetes management.
Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that damages the optic nerve. Over time, the condition can lead to irreversible vision loss. In fact, glaucoma is the second leading cause of vision loss – the first being cataracts.
Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle. This condition blocks the trabecular meshwork, causing eye pressure to gradually increase. In contrast, neovascular glaucoma (a rare form of the disease) sometimes occurs in conjunction with diabetic retinopathy. If the retinal blood vessels become damaged, the retina develops new, irregular blood vessels. If these new blood vessels grow on the iris, it can close off fluid flow and further raise eye pressure. Neovascular glaucoma is challenging to treat and often requires surgery.
Glaucoma is treated the same way for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may recommend medications, laser treatments, or surgical intervention. During a consultation at our practice, we can explore all of your treatment options in detail.
Other Tips for Managing Retinal Diseases
If you have diabetes, it is especially important to keep your eye health in check. Here are a few recommendations from our team at Pacific Retina Specialists:
- Keep your blood sugar in check and manage it successfully.
- Manage your blood pressure by eating a low-sodium diet, and adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
- Be cognizant of common warning signs, such as blurred vision, floaters, discomfort, pressure, flashing lights, or any sudden changes in your vision.
- Avoid tobacco products, as smoking damages your blood vessels, further increasing your risk for retinal diseases.
- Attend regular ophthalmology exams.
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
Eye problems and diabetes often go hand in hand. To learn more about your risk factors, schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills practice. Contact us online anytime or call our office at (310) 289-3666.