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
"I had ICL surgery done on May the 26th ( two weeks ago) and words can't express my gratitude to Dr Kent Kirk, he gave me my vision back. The staff members are so competent. The front desk staff are always welcoming. Joyce Wolter the Surgical Manager is extremely helpful. The staff at the surgery center are very efficient. Dr. Kent Kirk is amazing, extremely professionaI, knowledgeable and friendly. I am so happy with my experience at Kirk Eye Center @ River Forest. Thalia Lopez"- A. / Google / Jun 10, 2021
"I had ICL surgery done two weeks ago and words can’t express my gratitude to Dr Kent Kirk, he gave me my vision back. The staff members are so competent. The front desk staff are always welcoming. Joyce Wolter the Surgical Manager is extremely helpful. The staff at the surgery center are very efficient. Dr. Kent Kirk is amazing, extremely professionaI, knowledgeable and friendly. I am extremely happy with my experience in Kirk Eye Center @ River Forest. Thalia Lopez"- A.G. / Yelp / Jun 09, 2021
"Kirk Eye Center is a wonderful office with absolutely amazing doctors. I have had experiences with a lot of the office staff and most of the doctors that work here and they are as nice as they come. Having a surgery center connected to the main office building is extremely convenient for cataract surgery too!"- L.B. / Google / Jun 08, 2021
"Love the Optical Center at Kirk Eye Center. Great service and personal attention."- M.O. / Google / Jun 03, 2021
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.