Diabetic Retinopathy Naples, FL

Diabetic Retinopathy Naples, FLAnyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop the eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Naples, FL patients diagnosed with this serious disease should visit Malkani Retina Center. Dr. Sunil M. Malkani and his team of highly trained and qualified physicians can recommend cutting-edge treatments to slow the progression of the disease and ultimately save your eyesight.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes interferes with the body’s natural capacity to store and use sugar properly. When there is too much sugar in the blood, it can damage the blood vessels in the eye – specifically, in the retina. When tiny blood vessels in the retina leak fluids and blood, it causes the tissues to swell and blur vision. If left untreated, patients can suffer severe vision loss and even blindness from diabetic retinopathy. Naples, FL patients can count on Malkani Retina Center for expert treatment before this happens.

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. This is the most common type. The early stage of diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels in the center of the retina. When these blood vessels burst and leak fluid, blood, or fatty material into the eye, it causes blurred vision and eyesight loss. If left untreated, this type of diabetic retinopathy can lead to swelling of the macula, or macular edema, and permanent vision loss.
  • Proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Naples, FL citizens with this condition have a more severe stage of the condition, where abnormal blood vessel growth occurs as the body’s response to oxygen deprivation in the retina. These blood vessels are delicate and easily break and bleed into the vitreous gel filling the eye. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy results in severe vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy typically affects both eyes, and it can eventually lead to blindness if left untreated. While there is no current cure for diabetic retinopathy, retina surgeons can do certain procedures to repair damage and prevent further vision loss. In some cases, patients with diabetic retinopathy in Naples, FL saw improved vision after treatment. The key to avoiding severe vision loss is early detection.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

To catch diabetic retinopathy early, schedule routine eye exams at Malkani Retina Center. There are specific vision tests Dr. Malkani can perform to diagnose this condition in its beginning stages to maximize the results of treatment. There are no visual symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Naples, FL residents need routine comprehensive dilated eye exams with a professional to catch this problem early and curtail vision loss as fast as possible. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy to look for if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes are:

  • Spots, floaters, or shadows in vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark or “empty” spots in the center of vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Eye pain

As soon as you experience any of these symptoms, it’s imperative to contact us at our Naples office for an exam. The sooner Dr. Malkani’s team diagnoses diabetic retinopathy, the better your chances are of saving your vision and slowing down the negative effects of the condition. If you have diabetes, you can slow or prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy with a few best practices to control blood sugar levels, such as:

  1. Take your prescribed medications
  2. Stick to a healthy diet
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Control high blood pressure
  5. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol

Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is the key to preventing diabetic retinopathy. Naples, FL patients with diabetes should schedule regular visits to Malkani Retina Center to monitor the development of this condition and begin early treatments as necessary. Learn more about diabetic retinopathy.

Treating Diabetic Retinopathy in Naples, FL

While there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, patients can receive treatment to effectively slow the progression of the disease and avoid serious vision loss. Based on the extent of the disease, patients may need laser therapies, injections, or surgery. Dr. Malkani and his associates can recommend a specific treatment for your condition after a comprehensive exam and diagnosis. Treatment options at Malkani Retina Center include:

  • Laser therapy and steroid injections to reduce vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). Avastin, Lucentis, and/or Macugen are anti-VEGF agents that can aid vitrectomy laser surgery. These two treatments combined can seal or shrink leaking abnormal blood vessels, reducing VEGF and helping slow or stop diabetic retinopathy and vision loss. Multiple treatments may be necessary for the best results.
  • Injecting medications such as steroid drugs or anti-VEGF solutions into the eye can reduce leakage of fluids and blood from damaged blood vessels in the retina. They may also help control swelling and inflammation in the eye, reducing damage and vision loss.
  • Vitrectomy surgery. Dr. Malkani may recommend this treatment to patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy in Naples, FL that he cannot treat with laser therapy or injections alone. These cases can include diabetic retinopathy that causes retinal detachment or vitreous hemorrhage. Vitrectomy involves extracting the vitreous gel and removing abnormal blood vessels and scar tissue. Dr. Malkani then replaces the gel with special gas, air, and a saline solution or silicone oil.

At Malkani Retina Center, we take the time to listen and provide the best solutions and care according to your exact needs. We’ll always answer your questions regarding treatment, walk you through the procedure, and give you our expert opinion on your prognosis. Slowing the progression of diabetic retinopathy is possible at Malkani Retina Center, where we use state-of-the-art techniques and equipment to minimize the effects of the condition on your vision.

Receive Expert Eye Care at Malkani Retina Center

If you suffer from diabetic retinopathy, trust Dr. Malkani with your treatment and recovery. With more than 17 years in the industry, Dr. Malkani has the expertise needed to provide the best care for retinal diseases and conditions in Southwest Florida. Read more about Dr. Malkani to see why he’s a preferred retina surgeon in the area. When it comes to treating and halting vision loss related to diabetic retinopathy, Naples, FL patients can call (239) 324-4888 to speak with a friendly physician and book an appointment at a local Malkani Retina Center.

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