When Diabetes affects the eyes it is called Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy can cause vision loss and even blindness. This occurs as high levels of sugar in the blood can cause damage to the walls of the blood vessels in the Retina, and other parts of the body such as the Kidneys and Brain. These damaged blood vessels can then leak, causing swelling, or burst, causing bleeding, within the retina. The damaged blood vessels may also grow into the wrong parts of the eye causing other issues such as retinal detachment or glaucoma.
There are two types of Diabetic Retinopathy: Non-proliferative and Proliferative Diaebtic Retinopathy. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) is the earlier stage of Diabetic Retinopathy, and in this stage the retinal blood vessel walls are damaged from high blood sugars. This damage then causes both leakage and bleeding within the retina which can lead to vision loss.
Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy is called Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy and is very aggressive. In this form of Diabetic Retinopathy, blood vessels begin to grow into the wrong places of the eye and can lead to vision loss and even retinal detachment and glaucoma.
Dr. Makkouk is Retina Surgery trained from Yale University and has all of the knowledge and tools to provide the best treatment for diabetic retinopathy for each individual patient. Treatment options may include lasers, injections, or surgery to help stop the disease from progressing.
For patient centered Diabetic Retinopathy care call Austin Eye Center or book an appointment online today.