About Diabetic Retinopathy
If not kept in check, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause a number of eye problems. One of those complications is known as diabetic retinopathy, a serious vision condition that occurs from changes to the blood vessels in the retina, which can affect your eye's ability to filter light into images. The high level of blood sugar in diabetic individuals can cause swelling, blocking, and fluid leakage from the retinal blood vessels. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness and vision loss in individuals ages 18 – 65. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness if not properly treated so it is important for diabetic patients to have annual comprehensive eye exams. The board-certified team at Kirk Eye Center offers cutting-edge vision care and treatments at our facilities in River Forest, IL and Gurnee, IL.
"Great overall experience with my Lasik procedure for both my eyes. Dr. Kirk & the staff were fantastic throughout the entire process. I'm so pumped that I don't have to wear contacts or glasses ever again!"- B.M. / Google / Jun 19, 2020
"Although I am fairly young, for some reason my eyes started to develop cataracts. Getting to a point when driving my car became a dangerous adventure, after a thorough search on internet I have opted for cataract surgery at Kirk Eye Center. I wasn’t disappointed, everything there was top notch! Starting from the receptionists to the nurses, I was always treated in a very professional and courteous manner. Many thanks to Ms Joyce Wolter, the surgery manager who helped me going through all the paperwork and dealed with my insurance! She made everything look easy to me! All my life since childhood I’ve had poor vision but now after my right eye surgery I have 20/20 vision! It feels like I am reborn, all these vibrant colors and multitude of details I have never been aware before! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr Scott Kirk! You gave me the best gift! We all take for granted the vision and we realize that only after we lose it! Note: I have opted for premium IOL’s, I wanted for my eyes the best I can get. They are quite expensive and not covered by insurance, but I can personally state that they worth every penny! I cannot wait for the left eye surgery a week from today!"- G.R. / Google / Sep 22, 2022
"Dr Kent Kirk and the entire staff are amazing.They are caring, well organized and I had a fantastic resultMy sight in my right eye went from just barely being able to see the big E on the eye chart to 20/25 visionJust incredible!!!Thank you Dr Kent Kirk and staff I could not be happier Getting ready to do my second cataract surgery and I would NOT use anyone else but Kirk Eye Care!!!They know what they are doing and do eye care extremely well!!"- I.D. / Yelp / Sep 13, 2022
"I don’t think words can express the gratitude I feel towards Dr. Kirk and his incredible office and surgical staff for all that they did for me. I had ICL surgery done last month and it has been life changing. Dr. Kirk was informative, helpful and answered every single question I had before and after surgery. The timing of my recovery overlapped with some personal plans, and Dr. Kirk and his staff went out of their way to still schedule my first few appointments on days and/or times that they don’t normally schedule patients in order to ensure that everything looked and felt good after the procedure. I couldn’t believe how kind and thoughtful they all were. Not only am I still in awe of having perfect vision again, I will forever be grateful to Kirk Eye Center for everything they did for me. I highly recommend Dr. Kirk and the ICL surgery!"- K.S. / Yelp / Sep 02, 2022
"As a new patient, I had my first opportunity to visit the Gurnee, IL office of ophthalmologist, Dr. Tyler Quentin Kirk. It took some weeks to get the appointment, but I waited patiently and was rewarded this morning with a sense of calm that let me know I was in the right place. From the welcoming voices on the phone and at the front door; during my exams and explanations; to our good-byes, I would like to thank Dr. Kirk and his wonderful staff. Janely, my 'first responder,' with whom I spent the most time, and all the other girls who assisted me or with whom I interacted: Miki, Mary, Val, Wendy, and Julissa. Hope to see you soon."- B.K. / Google / Sep 01, 2022
Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms
You may not observe symptoms at first since the condition develops slowly over time. However, in later stages of diabetic retinopathy, symptoms may mirror those of a retinal tear or detachment. Symptoms include the following:
- Floaters and/or flashes
- Decreased ability to differentiate color
- Dark areas in your vision
- Vision loss
- Blurry or distorted vision
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy occurs in type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients as a result of high blood sugar and blood sugar spikes. This is just one reason why it is important for individuals with diabetes to check and manage their blood sugar levels as advised by their primary care physician. Elevated blood glucose affects the retinal blood vessels, resulting in increased thickness, blockages, swelling, or fluid leakage over time. Diabetic retinopathy can cause macular edema (swelling of the macula) if left untreated, in addition to macular ischemia (blood failing to reach the macula).
DIABETIC RETINOPATHY Treatment Options
The vision experts at Kirk Eye Center are pleased to offer a range of treatment options for diabetic retinopathy, which will be chosen based on the stage of your condition. Corticosteroid injections or implants can be provided to reduce swelling. For leaking or damaged blood vessels, cauterizing laser procedures may be used to seal the area and prevent further damage. Patients with more advanced stages of the condition may require anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapy to prevent the development of abnormal blood vessels.
Treat Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy could be a potential concern for anyone who has diabetes, especially if they are not taking proper care of their health. The best way for patients to avoid the disease is to control their blood sugar and have yearly eye examinations at Kirk Eye Center. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are highly trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating diabetic retinopathy so we invite you to contact our office in River Forest or Gurnee IL.