Prevent Vision Loss from Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition which affects the blood vessels in the back of the eye, causing vision problems. Anyone with diabetes runs the risk of developing this complication, especially those with uncontrolled blood sugar.

At Montgomery Eye Care, we can diagnose and treat this condition to maintain your vision. Dr. Jim E. Montgomery provides comprehensive vision care at our offices in Westminster and Northglenn, CO. Often, early stages of diabetic retinopathy present no obvious symptoms, so it is important to attend regular eye exams at our practice to prevent more serious vision issues. 

Understanding the Disease

Diabetic retinopathy affects the blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, called the retina. High blood sugar levels from diabetes damage the vessels, causing them to swell or leak. In some cases, they can close and stop blood from passing through altogether. In time, abnormal blood vessels can grow on the retina.

All of these complications can interfere with your vision. When left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to a complete loss of sight. 

A photo of an older man carrying a child on his shoulders, blurred and blacked out in places.

Common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include blurred vision and unexplained dark smudges. 

Warning Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy

In the beginning, this condition may cause no symptoms. However, as it progresses and blood vessels in the retina continue to leak, you may experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuations in vision
  • Dark strings or spots 
  • Issues with color vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your sight

Typically, diabetic retinopathy affects both eyes at the same time. The longer the condition goes without treatment, the more likely you are to experience partial or full vision loss.

If you have noticed any changes in vision, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Montgomery right away. However, all patients with diabetes should attend regular eye exams as symptoms may not appear until vision has already been compromised. 

It is important to keep in mind that these treatments do not cure diabetic retinopathy. However, they can offer relief...and prevent complete vision loss.

Protecting Your Vision

The most effective way to avoid serious complications from diabetic retinopathy is to effectively manage your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar level, keep your blood pressure under control, and visit our office regularly for diabetic eye exams.

For patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy, we offer several treatment options to restore impaired vision, including:

  • Photocoagulation: Using an advanced laser system, Dr. Montgomery can target blood vessels and stop or slow the leakage of blood into the eye. In addition, panretinal photocoagulation can shrink blood vessels.
  • Vitrectomy: During this procedure, damaged tissue in the middle of the eye, known as the vitreous, is removed. Then, the vitreous is replaced so that your vision is clearer and your eye healthier. 
  • Injections: In some cases, Dr. Montgomery may recommend injecting growth inhibitors into the vitreous of the eye to prevent new blood vessels from forming. 

It is important to keep in mind that these treatments do not cure diabetic retinopathy. However, they can offer relief from symptoms and prevent complete vision loss. Diabetes is a lifelong condition and complications can continue to arise over time. Dr. Montgomery can discuss your options with you and help you develop a plan for protecting your vision long-term. 

Keep Your Eyes Safe

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition. Left untreated, this issue can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. To learn more about your treatment options or schedule an appointment with Dr. Montgomery, call one of our convenient locations or contact us online today. 

Contact Our Practice

"My friend referred me to Dr. Montgomery who was VERY patient, and determined I had a virus, complicated by dry eye. I have been working with him for over about two years now, and my eye is MUCH better under his very professional care. If you have an ongoing problem, or just need a good eye doc, I highly recommend him."

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Montgomery Eye Care

10465 Melody Dr
Ste 111
Northglenn, CO 80234

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Eye Surgery Center of Colorado

8403 Bryant St
Westminster, CO 80031

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