Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy services offered in Long Beach, CA

Up to one-third of people with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy, a potentially serious disease that causes vision loss. At Apex Retina Institute, located in Long Beach, California, board-certified ophthalmologist Darren Knight, MD, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Knight offers advanced treatments, including intravitreal injections and retinal laser therapy. Call Apex Retina Institute today to receive treatment for diabetic retinopathy, or book your appointment online.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a side-effect of diabetes that affects the eyes. It causes damage to the blood vessels at the back of your eye near your retina –– a light-sensitive tissue that receives images and sends them to your brain for interpretation.

Anyone with diabetes can develop retinopathy, but it’s not guaranteed. Regular eye exams and healthy lifestyle changes can keep your blood sugar in check and preserve your vision.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms include:

  • Vision loss
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Fluctuation vision
  • Blurred vision

Some people with diabetic retinopathy experience floaters and flashers.

Should I see an eye doctor about diabetic retinopathy?

Make an appointment with Dr. Knight and the Apex Retina Institute team if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. It’s vital to visit an ophthalmologist annually, even if your eyes seem healthy. Routine checkups can identify retinopathy early on and prevent it from worsening. 

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?

Dr. Knight reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a comprehensive eye exam. Then, he dilates your pupils with special eyedrops and orders several imaging tests, including:

Fluorescein angiography

During this test, Dr. Knight injects a colored dye into your arm. The dye circulates through the blood vessels in your eye, allowing him to identify ones that are broken, closed, or leaking.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

OCT provides detailed, cross-sectional images of your retina. Dr. Knight uses these images to see how much fluid (if any) has leaked into your retina and surrounding tissues.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

Diabetic retinopathy requires aggressive treatment to prevent it from worsening.

Depending on your age and symptoms, Dr. Knight and the team may recommend:

Eye injections

Eye injections use a class of medications called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors to stop abnormal blood vessels from forming near your retina and reduce swelling in your eye. Dr. Knight administers an anesthetic first, ensuring your comfort.

Retinal laser therapy

If the blood vessels near your retina are broken or leaking, Dr. Knight recommends retinal laser therapy. This type of treatment uses targeted light energy (lasers) to seal the blood vessels at the back of your eye and prevent the condition from worsening.

Call Apex Retina Institute today to explore the treatments for diabetic retinopathy, or make your appointment online.