Diabetic Retinopathy Specialist

Austin Eye Center

Retina Specialist located in Austin, TX

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working-age Americans and the most common type of diabetes-related eye disease. Ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Fuad Makkouk, MD, uses innovative techniques for treating diabetic retinopathy, including lasers and injections, at Austin Eye Center. If you think you have Diabetic Retinopathy or need a Diabetic Eye Exam call or book an appointment online today.

Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can affect people with diabetes. When your blood sugar levels are too high for a long time, it causes damage to the blood vessels in your retina. 

This damage may cause the blood vessels to swell and leak, or they can close and prevent blood from passing through. Other times, abnormal blood vessels may develop in your retina. All of these changes threaten your vision.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Early stages of diabetic retinopathy may not cause symptoms. As the condition worsens, symptoms may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Vision that changes from blurry to clear
  • Seeing spots or floaters
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Having a dark or empty spot in your central vision
  • Noticing that colors appear faded or washed out

Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms typically affect both eyes. Without treatment, this condition can lead to vision loss.

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels that nourish your retina. There are two main stages of diabetic neuropathy:

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR)

This early stage of retinopathy affects many people who have diabetes. NPDR causes the tiny blood vessels in your eyes to leak or close off, leading to blurry vision.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR)

PDR is a more advanced stage of the disease that occurs when your eyes develop abnormal new blood vessels. These vessels can leak or form scar tissue, leading to more serious problems, like floaters, vision loss, and retinal detachment.

What are the treatment options for diabetic retinopathy?

At Austin Eye Center, Dr. Makkouk provides individualized, patient-centered treatment for diabetic retinopathy. With fellowship training in retinal surgery from Yale University, Dr. Makkouk offers the most advanced treatments available. 

Depending on your specific condition and the stage of your diabetic retinopathy, treatment may include:

  • Laser treatment to stop or slow leakage in the eyes (photocoagulation)
  • Laser treatment to shrink abnormal blood vessels (panretinal photocoagulation)
  • Injecting medicine into the eyes to stop the growth of new vessels

For the cutting-edge treatment of diabetic retinopathy, call Austin Eye Center or book an appointment online today.