Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels that supply the retina (the tissue that contains the photoreceptors of the eye). It begins without symptoms or mild vision problems, but can eventually lead to blindness if left untreated. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Over time, with uncontrolled blood sugars, damage occurs to the blood vessels that nourish the retina of the eye. The blood vessels may become leaky which may lead to decreased vision. As the blood vessel health worsens blood is not able to reach areas of retina leading to ischemia. In attempt to compensate for the loss of blood flow, the eye responds by attempting to grow new blood vessels. However, the new blood vessels don’t develop properly and can lead to catastrophic vision loss from bleeding, retinal detachment, and/or glaucoma.
Early detection is best way to monitor and manage diabetic retinopathy. Using our state-of-the-art technology, such as the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Fluorescein Angiography, these imaging tests provide our doctors with images inside the eye allowing them to accurately assess and treat for the disease.
Dr. David Kim has expertise managing diabetic retinopathy as well as other retinal pathology. If you have questions or would like to understand more about treatment options, reach out to us. We are happy to speak with you and take the time to help you understand more to keep your eyes healthy.