Gene Wyll, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Surgeon and Contact Lens Specialist

Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetics are susceptible to incurring damage to the blood vessels of the retina, which is the nerve layer in the back of the eye.  This condition is termed diabetic retinopathy.  If undetected and/or untreated, such changes in the blood vessels can cause loss of vision, which can be permanent.

The longer a person has diabetes, the higher the risk of developing retinopathy.  The key to avoiding diabetic eye complications is early detection of the disease, and when diabetes is diagnosed, maintain excellent control of blood sugar levels with appropriate medication, diet and exercise.  Fortunately, with constantly improving methods of diagnosis and treatment, only a small percentage of persons with diabetic retinopathy develop serious vision problems.

        Background Retinopathy

        Advanced Retinopathy

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Frequently, there are no symptoms in the early phases of retinopathy.  Sometimes gradual blurring of vision may be noted.  The sudden onset of floaters or spots in the vision may indicate bleeding has occurred.  Retinopathy may progress more rapidly during pregnancy or in patients with inadequately controlled high blood pressure.

How is Diabetic Retinopathy diagnosed?

Dr. Wyll has literally examined thousands of patients with diabetes and possesses the high level of expertise in this area that
you deserve.  A dilated eye examination is the best way to detect these changes in the eye.  During your dilated eye exam, he will examine the inside of the eye with an ophthalmoscope, which enables him to view the entire retina and vitreous.  If indicated, further tests might be performed.

It is recommended that diabetics should have a yearly dilated eye examination.

What is the treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy?

The mainstay of treatment is to maintain adequate control of blood sugar levels.  Diabetics should have a dilated eye exam at least yearly.  If indicated, laser treatment of the retina is often a very effective and non-invasive treatment of the retinopathy.  If necessary, surgical treatment may be warranted.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy requires teamwork between you and Dr. Wyll.  He can prescribe treatment, but only you, the patient, can make sure you take your medications on the prescribed schedule, and that you return for regular follow-up exams.

610 North Coit, Suite 2115 Richardson, Texas 75080    Telephone 214-575-4455    Fax  972-918-0480

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