A big part of the reason that it is so important that everyone have an annual eye examination from an eye care specialist such as our Washington retina doctor is to detect and treat potentially debilitating eye diseases as early as possible. Our ophthalmology offices are equipped with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic technology including digital imaging and laser equipment that allows our doctors to see deep within the eye’s structure and capture it’s movements digitally to make disease detection more accurate than ever before.
One of the eye diseases that our Washington retina doctor sees often is diabetic retinopathy, which is the eye’s manifestation of diabetes and one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. The disease causes the small blood vessels feeding the eye’s retina, the thin tissue at the back of the eye where images are focused, to either swell and leak or form new abnormal vessels. The blood vessels either begin to leak or the retina can detach. There are four stages of diabetic retinopathy: mild, moderate and severe non-proliferative retinopathy and the most severe proliferative retinopathy where blindness is often the normal outcome. During the early stages of mild and moderate nonproliferative retinopathy the disease usually progresses with few or no symptoms making eye examinations the only way of detecting it.
During a dilated eye exam in our ophthalmology office our Washington retina doctor will use a magnifying lens to examine your retina and macula for any signs of the disease and may conduct other tests that detect leaks in the blood vessels. If the disease is detected it can be treated by medications, blood sugar control and laser surgery and afterwards the patient’s eyes need continued monitoring. Early detection is crucial because lost vision cannot be restored. Please call our office for an appointment to check for this devastating disease, especially if you suffer from Type 1 or 2 diabetes.