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Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects every system of the body. When an eye doctor looks in the back of ones eye, they can see blood vessels; the only place in the body that this can happen. Even with the best diabetes control, blood vessels can leak; this is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. This leaking may cause swelling in the back of the eye where main focusing occurs (the macula) and can lead to permanent vision loss. Damage to the eye can start unknowingly to patients. Unfortunately, by the time someone has symptoms from this disease, it may be too late to save vision.
Diabetic patients who do not show signs of diabetes in their eyes still need yearly eye exams. Regular eye exams allow for your provider to see signs of diabetes inside your eyes and provide proper intervention before damage occurs that could be otherwise irreversible.
Once a patient has had diabetic eye disease findings, it is important to get dilated exams more frequently, per your doctor's advice.
All of our providers see diabetic patients. If a diabetic patient is in need of laser treatment to stop the growing of abnormal blood vessels, our three physicians are skilled in performing this laser intervention. If further retina treatment is required, patients are referred to a retinal specialist for management.