Persons diagnosed with diabetes mellitus are at risk for
developing diabetic retinopathy, a serious disorder affecting the
retina in the eye. Damage to the retina over time can result in
diminished vision and in some cases, either partial or total
blindness. In the early stages, patients may be unaware of this
disorder and may experience little or no noticeable loss of vision.
A thorough, annual eye exam can detect the presence of this
disorder and any changes to the retina.
There are two main types of diabetic retinopathy: background
diabetic retinopathy and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy usually affects persons who have
had diabetes for 25 years or more and is the more advanced stage of
the disease. Background diabetic retinopathy is generally less
serious, and in the beginning stages, may require no treatment.
Persons with either form of diabetic retinopathy need to be
carefully monitored by regular eye exams.
University Eye Surgeons uses two different systems for
evaluation of diabetic retinopathy - the HRT retinal program and
digital fluroscein angiography. Both systems provide images of the
retina, which will detect any changes that may have occurred. A
green laser is used to provide treatment for diabetic