Diabetic Retinopathy

Almost one-quarter of people with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy, a complication leading to blindness. However, early diagnosis and treatment from Dr. Candria Krywko and our optometry team in Scottsdale, AZ, can minimize the risk of vision loss. Here's what you need to know about diabetic retinopathy and how to protect your eyesight.

Diabetic Retinopathy

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy typically develops in two stages:

1. Pre-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

In this early stage, the tiny blood vessels in the retina begin to leak fluid or even close off completely. This can cause areas of the retina to swell or form cloudy patches.

2. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

In this more advanced stage, new blood vessels begin to grow on the retina's surface. Unfortunately, these new blood vessels are fragile and can easily bleed, causing vision loss.

Who Is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in 20-74 years old adults. Anyone with diabetes is at risk, but the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk. In fact, after 20 years of diabetes, nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes and more than 60% of patients with type 2 diabetes will develop some degree of diabetic retinopathy.

How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

Our optometrists can detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy during a comprehensive dilated eye exam, including special drops to widen the pupil for a better view of the retina. During the exam, our optometrists will look for any of the following signs:

  • Swelling of the retina
  • Leakage of fluid from the blood vessels in the retina
  • Formation of new blood vessels on the retina's surface
  • Changes in the nerve tissue of the retina

How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, treatments are focused on slowing the progression of the disease. Laser surgery can help to seal leaking blood vessels and shrink abnormal new blood vessels.

In the later stages of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, laser surgery is used to destroy the abnormal new blood vessels and prevent them from bleeding. This can help to improve your vision. In some cases, you may need a vitrectomy to remove blood from the eye that has accumulated due to bleeding from new blood vessels.

Visit Us for Quality Eye Care in Scottsdale, AZ

If you have diabetes, it's important to have regular comprehensive eye exams to detect and treat any early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Candria Krywko and our Scottsdale optometry team offer comprehensive eye exams and specialize in diagnosing and treating diabetic retinopathy. Call us today at (480) 900-2020 to schedule an appointment.

Request a complimentary eyewear style session today!

Testimonials

  • I have worn contact lenses for years but due to my strong near-sighted prescription with high astigmatism could get neither the comfort nor vision very good in standard gas permeable lenses or in soft lenses. I had reverted back to wearing glasses most of the time until Dr. Krywko recommended the SynergEyes lenses. They work great for me and I can finally wear contacts again! Thank you, Dr. Krywko!

    ...
    Show More - Anna Garity
  • Dr. Candria Kryko is a wonderful OD. I was seen by Dr. Kryko in Scottsdale recently for an eye exam/contact lens fitting. She is extremely pleasant, attentive, and she took her time to give me a thorough exam and answer all of my questions. Dr. Kryko gave me recommendations on contacts and eye drops, as well, she gave me tips on how I can save on some of my contact expenses. She was professional, attentive, took the time to explain what was needed, and was simply nice to be around. I recommend Dr. Kryko. 

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    Show More - Chelsey Kerchansky
  • My entire family have been seeing Dr. Krywko for years. The professionalism, care and focus are over the top. I was told by an optician I would not be a likely candidate for contact lenses. However with Dr. Krywko's patience and wisdom she was able to fit me for contact lenses that work perfectly! I am thrilled..........Plus, I also have the most gorgeous frames (when I do not want to wear my contacts. ) I receive comments every time I wear them, " where did you get your glasses!" Dr. Kryko just received the newest styles......I'm in trouble..........

    ...
    Show More - Trish Nielsen

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