Diabetic eye disease (or diabetic retinopathy) tends to occur in those with diabetes mellitus who have had their condition for many years. Diabetes affects blood vessels throughout the body, and the vessels in the back of the eye are no exception. Generally speaking, blood vessels become leaky when continually affected by diabetes. Leaky blood vessels can deposit blood, fluid, and proteins onto the back of the eye. When this happens in the center of the eye, reading vision can become blurred and distorted. Extreme forms of diabetic eye disease can bring large hemorrhages, which can blur vision for long periods of time. Even more serious is the possible development of retinal detachment from diabetic eye disease.
Like most all conditions, the earlier diabetic eye disease is diagnosed, the better the treatment outcome. A retina specialist has received extra training and is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat all aspects of diabetic eye disease.
Certain lifestyle modifications that may decrease one’s risk of diabetic eye disease. For example, in age-related macular degeneration, it is known that sun exposure, high blood pressure, smoking, and increased body mass index are such risk factors. Each of these can be modified (i.e., wear sunglasses, control blood pressure, don’t smoke, don’t be overweight, etc…).
Dr. Notaro is an ophthalmologist with specialty training in diseases and surgery of the retina. She has served the WNY community for nearly 20 years. She was the first to bring the retina specialty to Niagara County. She has two convenient offices: one in Amherst and the other in N. Tonawanda/Wheatfield. No referral is needed. Simply call (716) 839-9009 to schedule an evaluation in either location!