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Diabetic Retinopathy Specialist

InSight Retina Consultants, P.C.

Retina Specialists located in Denver, Aurora, Glenwood Springs and Edwards, CO

More than 50% of people with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among adults today. At InSight Retina Consultants, P.C., experienced retina specialist Dennis O’Connell, DO, offers diabetic retinopathy diagnosis and solutions to help you preserve your eyesight. There are offices located in Aurora, Colorado, so call the one nearest you or click the online booking tool now.

Diabetic Retinopathy Q & A

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease in which complications of diabetes cause progressively severe damage within the retinal blood vessels in your eyes. 

You need healthy retinas to see fine details, so diabetic retinopathy can cause irreversible blindness. More than half of people who have diabetes eventually suffer from diabetic retinopathy. 

There are four stages of diabetic retinopathy. The first three stages are mild, moderate, and severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. These stages of diabetic retinopathy cause progressive blood vessel damage, leaking, and swelling. 

In the fourth stage, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, new abnormal and highly fragile blood vessels grow inside your retina. These blood vessels often rupture to cause scar tissue buildup and other problems, including retinal detachment. 

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

It's quite common to have early-stage diabetic retinopathy without any symptoms. However, as the damage worsens, you may experience:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Poor distance vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Faded-looking colors
  • Blank spots in your vision
  • Floaters

These symptoms usually happen in both eyes, but can also occur in just one eye. Without treatment, your symptoms can continue worsening, and you may lose your eyesight. 

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

High blood sugar is the underlying cause of diabetic retinopathy. When you have high blood sugar for a long time, it damages or even blocks off the blood vessels supplying your retina with blood.

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?

Dr. O'Connell performs a comprehensive eye exam to look closely at your retinas. He uses state-of-the-art technology like optical coherence tomography, B scan ultrasonography, digital fluorescein angiography, color fundus photography, and indocyanine green angiography to view your retinas in great detail and identify diabetic retinopathy problems. 

He can diagnose the type and stage of your diabetic retinopathy as well as specific problems like diabetic macular edema and retinal ischemia. Thanks to this highly specific diagnosis process, Dr. O’Connell can create the best treatment plan to save your vision.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

The three main treatment approaches are:

  • Intravitreal injections: Medication injected into the vitreous in your eye
  • Laser therapy: Laser treatment to stop new blood vessel growth
  • Retina surgery: Vitreous body and scar tissue removal

Dr. O'Connell can explain your treatment options and recommend the best way to prevent your diabetic retinopathy from worsening. By seeking treatment now, you can save your eyesight before it's too late. 

Call InSight Retina Consultants, P.C., or click on the online scheduling tool to book your appointment now.