Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy

and what can I do about it

Dr. John Cooksey and Dr. Richard Apt are very aware of the changes that can take place in the eyes of diabetics. They offer specialized screening called an OCT test to help diagnose early diabetic retinopathy and macular edema that can be present without the patients having any symptoms. This early intervention can be sight saving to a diabetic patient. Every diabetic patient should have his or her eyes dilated once per year as preventive maintenance.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes, which can eventually lead to blindness.It is an ocular manifestation of diabetes, a systemic disease, which affects up to 80 percent of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more.Despite these intimidating statistics, research indicates that at least 90% of these new cases could be reduced if there was proper and vigilant treatment and monitoring of the eyes.The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.Each year in the United States, diabetic retinopathy accounts for 12% of all new cases of blindness. It is also the leading cause of blindness for people aged 20 to 64 years.

What are the Treatment Options

The lens is a clear part of the eye that helps to focus light, or an image, on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. Once it reaches the retina, light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.

Are there other types of cataract?

It is critical for all patients with diabetes to have regular eye exams since with early and aggressive treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy it is often possible to maintain vision and prevent severe vision loss.

The National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute have funded a number of large scale, multi-center, controlled studies that have produced clinical care guidelines for Diabetic Retinopathy used by our Retina Specialist John Cooksey, M.D.

These include:

  • Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS)
  • Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy Study (DRS)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy Vitrectomy Study (DRVS)

Dr. Cooksey uses the results of these studies to guide patients in the treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy since with early treatment it is possible for patients with Diabetic Retinopathy to have only half the likelihood of losing vision as compared to those patients who fail to receive early treatment.

Diabetic Retinopathy is a common eye disease that affects a large number of patients with Diabetes Mellitus. With early detection and treatment, vision loss from Diabetic Retinopathy can be prevented.

Cooksey Vision and Cosmetic Center provides examination, diagnosis and treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy for patients from greater Monroe, Northern Louisiana and Southern Arkansas and is conveniently located for patients traveling from West Monroe, Bastrop, Winnsboro, Rayville, Gilbert, Columbia, as well as Ruston, Calhoun, Choudrant and Eldorado Arkansas. To schedule an appointment for an examination for Diabetic Retinopathy please call us in Monroe at (318)388-2020 or in Ruston at (318)255-9686.