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Diabetic Retinopathy

Natalia Tilki, D.O. -  - Ophthalmologist

Emerald Eye Center Inc.

Natalia Tilki, D.O.

Ophthalmologist located in Encino, CA

Diabetic retinopathy is a potentially serious complication of diabetes that can lead to permanent vision loss without treatment. At Emerald Eye Center Inc. in Encino, California, Natalia Tilki, DO, provides comprehensive eye care for patients with diabetic retinopathy. Regular eye exams and preventive treatment are essential for minimizing your risk of diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related complications. To learn more, call Emerald Eye Center Inc., or schedule an appointment online today.

Retinopathy via Injections

Diabetic Retinopathy Q&A

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to the retina, the tissue in the back of the eye that senses light. Diabetes develops from high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This happens when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, the hormone that allows your body to use sugar for energy.

Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose efficiently, so sugar builds up in the blood. Over time, it can damage your blood vessel walls, including those located in your retina. Damaged blood vessels in the retina may permanently harm the tissue and impair your vision.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Some patients have no diabetic retinopathy symptoms at all, while others may experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Floaters (dark floating specks in your line of vision)
  • Vision impairment
  • Blindness
  • Vision that fluctuates
  • Empty spots in vision

Once diabetic retinopathy progresses, symptoms are typically more severe and frequent. Seeking professional care early on can significantly improve your outcome and keep symptoms at bay.

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

Anybody with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. However, it’s far more likely if you have uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Monitoring your blood sugar and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is one of the simplest ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy.

Are there different types of diabetic retinopathy?

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:

Early diabetic retinopathy

Also called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), early diabetic retinopathy happens when the walls of the blood vessels inside your retina start to weaken. This can lead to a buildup of fluid inside the center portion of the retina, called the macula, which may impair your vision.

Advanced diabetic retinopathy

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is an advanced form of the disease that causes damaged blood vessels to close off completely. Once these blood vessels close, new ones form. These new blood vessels are weak enough to leak directly into the center of your eye, called the vitreous. Scar tissue starts to develop as a result, which can permanently damage the optic nerve.

What are the treatments for diabetic retinopathy?

If you have diabetes, it’s important to schedule annual eye exams with Dr. Tilki at Emerald Eye Center Inc. Monitoring your vision regularly can help prevent diabetic retinopathy or keep the condition from worsening.

For patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy, treatments may include:

  • Medication injections
  • Photocoagulation (laser therapy)
  • Surgery
  • Routine eye exams
  • Diet and lifestyle modifications

To learn more about diabetic retinopathy, call Emerald Eye Center Inc., or schedule an appointment online today.