Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnoses
Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed with a comprehensive dilated eye exam. For this exam, drops placed in your eyes dilate your pupils to allow Dr. Keulder a better view inside your eyes. The drops can cause your close vision to blur until they wear off, several hours later. During the exam, your Dr. Keulder will look for abnormalities in the inside and outside parts of your eyes.
Early Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have mild or moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, you might not need treatment right away. However, Dr. Keulder will closely monitor your eyes to determine when you might need treatment. Work with your diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) to determine if there are ways to improve your diabetes management. When diabetic retinopathy is mild or moderate, good blood sugar control can usually slow the progression.
Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema, you'll need prompt treatment. While treatment can slow or stop the progression of diabetic retinopathy, it's not a cure. Because diabetes is a lifelong condition, future retinal damage and vision loss are still possible. Even after treatment for diabetic retinopathy, you'll need regular eye exams. At some point, you might need additional treatment. Depending on the specific problems with your retina, options might include: injecting medications into the eye to help stop growth of new blood vessels and decrease fluid buildup, photocoagulation laser treatment can stop or slow the leakage of blood and fluid in the eye (if you had blurred vision from macular edema before surgery, the treatment might not return your vision to normal, but it's likely to reduce the chance of the macular edema worsening), panretinal photocoagulation laser treatment can shrink the abnormal blood vessels (some loss of peripheral vision or night vision after the procedure is possible), and a vitrectomy (a tiny incision in your eye to remove blood from the middle of the eye as well as scar tissue that's tugging on the retina).