Diabetic Eye Exams in Las Vegas, NV, for Those Who Need Them Most
Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing eye conditions as a complication. These conditions can lead to vision loss and blindness and encompass diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is actually the leading cause of blindness in the US. These are why Siems LASIK & Eye Centers offers diabetic eye exams in Las Vegas, NV.
These conditions develop without any noticeable loss of vision or pain, so the damage has already been done by the time you notice anything. Early detection helps prevent permanent damage, so you want an exam at least once a year. Diabetic-related eye problems develop from high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels in the eye. Over 40 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes develop some form of eye disease as a result. The risk can be reduced with regular exams and by controlling blood sugar levels with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Causes of Diabetic Eye Conditions
They develop in the retina due microvascular abnormalities. The tiny blood vessels within the retina grow microaneurysms that leak blood over time. As new blood vessels arise to replace those blood vessels that are no longer viable, they also leak blood, leading to hemorrhages and permanent retina damage. While diabetics struggle with a high sugar count in the blood and insufficient insulin production, it is actually the blood’s lack of oxygen that leads to vision loss.
Diagnosis of Diabetic Eye Conditions
We can detect these conditions through a comprehensive exam. This involves a visual acuity test to measure vision at various distances, and a dilated exam to inspect the eye’s structures for any signs of disease. Our doctor evaluates the retina and optic nerve with a special magnifying lens and may also perform tonometry to measure the pressure inside the eye. Eye exams should be performed at least once a year or as soon as any potential problems arise. Early detection is the strongest protection against diabetic eye diseases.
Treatment of Diabetic Eye Conditions
Apart from maintaining blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, treatment is not needed during the first 3 stages of diabetic retinopathy. In the fourth stage, proliferative retinopathy is treated with a procedure known as scatter laser treatment. The abnormal blood vessels are ablated, causing them to shrink. It works best once the blood vessels begin to bleed. However, severe blood vessel bleeding may need to be surgically corrected with a vitrectomy procedure.
Treatment for macular edema usually includes a laser procedure called focal laser treatment. Several hundred small laser burns are placed in the areas of retinal leakage around the macula to prevent leakage and reduce the amount of fluid. This helps reduce the risk of vision loss and, in some cases, may even improve lost vision. We perform focal laser treatment here, and can usually so it in just one session.