Diabetic Retinopathy

Eye disease from diabetes is the major cause of new blindness in patients aged 20-64. Diabetes can cause blood vessels in the retina to grow abnormally. The vessels can leak fluid (macular edema) or bleed inside the eye. The Center For Sight of Lufkin and Livingston, stresses that dilated eye exams are very important to track and manage diabetic changes. These exams should be performed every six-to-12 months depending on the degree of the disease. If the diabetic retinopathy requires further evaluation, a Fluorescein Angiogram may be ordered to provide photographs of the blood vessels in the retina. A special dye is injected into the arm to allow photography of these vessels.

Argon laser surgery or special injections may be recommended to treat abnormal findings that, if left untreated, could lead to vision loss and eventual blindness. Laser surgery can effectively treat diabetic retinopathy. This procedure is performed by Richard J. Ruckman, M.D. or Daniel J. Kravitz, M.D. at The Center For Sight at our Lufkin location, on an outpatient basis and is used to accomplish the following:

• Seal leaking blood vessels, helping to prevent further vision loss.
• Slow or stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels, decreasing the chance of bleeding in the eye.

Advanced cases of diabetic retinopathy may require consultation with a retinal specialist. The doctors can refer you to a specialist and work with them to treat and manage your condition.