Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that weakens the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina inside the eye. These weak vessels can leak, causing a loss of vision. Changes to your vision may not be noticeable at first. But in its advanced stages, the disease can cause significant and irreversible vision loss. Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy is preventable by controlling blood sugar. Prevention is the best medicine with this disease. Regular eye exams are very important to detect diabetic retinopathy. Although damage caused by diabetic retinopathy cannot be corrected, patients diagnosed with the condition can be treated to slow its progression and minimize further vision loss. Treatment modalities include laser and surgical procedures.

I have diabetes.  What’s that got to do with the eyes?

Diabetes can damage the retina, which is in the back of the eye.  It functions like the film in a camera and senses light.

If I have good vision, do I still need to get the eye exam every year?

Undoubtedly.  For most people, there are no symptoms in the early stage.

How do I know if my diabetes is under control?

The blood sugars give a snapshot of what the sugar level is at any given moment.  There is a lab test the doctor orders, called a Hemoglobin A1c.  This is not a kind of steak sauce.  It summarizes an average of how the sugars have been over the past 3 months.  This is a great measure to indicate whether the sugars are stable at the target levels.

Why do I need to know my hemoglobin A1c level?

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults between the ages of 20-74

What does diabetes do to the eyes?

At first you may not notice a change to your vision.  Over time, blood vessels can be damaged, leading to swelling, leaking, and bleeding.

Can you send the eye exam report to my primary care doctor?

Absolutely

What’s the best way to protect my vision if I have diabetes?

Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow up and care can reduce the risk of severe vision loss by 95%

Click here to fond out more Diabetic retinopathy infographic

To our valued patients,

As you are aware, we employ strict protocols utilizing hospital grade sanitation products and procedures to ensure the safety of you, our patients, and our employees. In light of the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Texas, and data derived from the experience of those already deeply affected by this rapidly spreading virus, we have decided to add to our protocols in an effort to reduce the risk of overwhelming medical facilities. Currently we are continuing to stay open for business, and surgeries will continue to move forward as planned until further notice. In order to operate as safely as possible, going forward we will:

    • Respectfully ask all patients who are ill, or not feeling well to please cancel your appointment.
    • Ask all employees who are ill or not feeling well to remain at home.
    • Begin pre-screening via phone for all patients with upcoming appointments. Any patients answering yes will be asked to stay at home. Screening for existing appointments will be performed at checkin with the following questions:
      • Do you have a fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing?
      • Have you had contact with someone with known or suspected COVID-19?
      • Have you traveled within the last 14 days to any location either domestically or internationally with confirmed community transmission of COVID-19?
      • If answering yes to any of the above questions we will kindly reschedule your appointment to a later date in line with CDC direction.
    • Ask all patients and employees to utilize hand sanitizer as they enter our facilities. Hand sanitizer will be located at checkin desk.
    • Ask all employees to open and close all interior doors for patients when possible.

Our goal, as always, is to hold the safety of our patients and employees in the highest regard.

Respectfully,

Drs. Newman, Taub and Chu Newman and Taub Vision Center