Preserve Your Vision With Elgin Family EyeCare

Diabetic Retinopathy in Elgin

Preserve Your Vision With Elgin Family EyeCare

Schedule Eye Exam

Have diabetes?

Experiencing changes in vision, such as blurriness and eye floaters?

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the leading causes of vision loss around the world. Of an estimated 285 million people with diabetes mellitus worldwide, approximately one-third have signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Fortunately, there are several steps people with diabetes can take to prevent or minimize vision loss.

Blood sugar level check


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What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

noraml eye and an eye with diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease caused by high blood sugar levels that damage the small blood vessels clustered within your retina. This leads to swelling or fluid leakage and can result in vision loss and even blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy also raises the risk of retinal detachment and/or glaucoma.

Because the early stages of diabetic retinopathy show no symptoms, many don't realize they have it until the disease has progressed.

If you have diabetes, you are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. To reduce your risk and protect your vision, schedule an eye exam with Elgin Family EyeCare today.


What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

diabetic-retinopothy-oct-scan

As mentioned above, the early phase of diabetic retinopathy typically shows no symptoms. This is why it's important to have routine eye exams (all the more so if you have diabetes), as your eye doctor can detect diabetic retinopathy in its earlier stages before symptoms become apparent.

Symptoms of proliferative diabetic retinopathy include:
  • Blurred vision
  • Floaters
  • Double vision
  • Near vision problems
  • Seeing dark spots (scotomas)
  • Difficulty seeing at night

What are the Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Non-Proliferative Retinopathy (early stage):
This occurs when small bulges–or microaneurysms–form in blood vessels and can leak fluid into the retina.

Proliferative Retinopathy (later phase):
This refers to abnormal vessel growth and leakage in the retina. This triggers a variety of vision problems such as blurriness, reduced field of vision, and even blindness.

If you have diabetes, Elgin Family EyeCare in Elgin offers diagnostic tests and treatment options to help preserve your vision. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the treatment outcome.

Diabetic-Retinopathy-Bllod-sugar-level-checker


How Optometrists Diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Medical history

    Your optometrist will ask about your medical history, including diabetes, as well as your family history of eye conditions.

  • Dilated pupil exam

    Your optometrist will apply eye drops to dilate the pupils so they can see inside the eye and detect any issues.

  • Fluorescein angiography

    This eye test uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina and choroid.

  • Optical coherence tomography

    This imaging method shows a cross-section of the retina and can indicate whether vessels are leaking fluid into the retina.


Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis & Treatment in Elgin

Our optometry practice in Elgin

Photograph of Michael Kennedy
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
  • May. 27 Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Spectera
  • MetLife
  • Blue Cross

How to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy

senior man with diabetic retinopathy

Treatment begins with managing blood sugar levels and diabetes. This means eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and taking whatever diabetes medication has been prescribed.

Other treatments will depend on the stage or severity of the disease. If caught early, only blood sugar management may be necessary.

However, if you're in a more advanced stage of the diseases, treatment options may include:
  • Eye medications. Steroid and Anti-VEGF treatments can stop inflammation and prevent the formation of new blood vessels.
  • Laser surgery. Reduces the proliferation of abnormal blood vessels and swelling in the retina.
  • Vitrectomy. If you have proliferative diabetic retinopathy, you may need an eye surgery called vitrectomy. This procedure removes scar tissue, blood or fluid, and some of the vitreous gel so light rays can better focus on the retina.
Patient Reviews
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301 Reviews
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- May. 05, 2024
I was looking for a new pair of glasses at Elgin Family Eye Care. Lexi is a wonderful help! She list... ened to my preferences for frames and helped me to discover several possibilities. (It would have taken me hours to work through the many styles, shapes and frame colors.). She answered my questions and made this experience very pleasant! If you need help picking out new frames, I recommend Lexi!!
- Apr. 28, 2024
They were great
- Apr. 10, 2024
Very friendly staff. Huge selection of glasses to choose from
- Mar. 23, 2024
This is a great eye care place from to start to finish.
- Mar. 23, 2024
Awesome staff--friendly and helpful. Dr. Kennedy is awesome and explained all procedures and results... well. Great selection of eye glasses. They processed everything through with my insurance so it was extremely easy for me.
- Mar. 13, 2024
Great doctors and office staff. Professional and friendly. The providers are very thorough and take ... the time to answer questions, show images and explain any problems or concerns and refer out to other specialist when appropriate!!
- Feb. 29, 2024
Proper care and support. Did not try and sell me things which were unnecessary. They fitted my cur... rent expensive frames with the new lenses with a great final product.
- Feb. 17, 2024
I called at 9:30 am., and there was an opening for an eye exam at 10:30 am. the same day! Both of th... e doctors that I have had appointments with over the past 6 years, have been knowledgeable and thorough. Dr. Brauer discovered I had Narrow Angle Glaucoma, and referred me to an Opthomologist, who performed a Laser Iridotomy.👁
- Jan. 27, 2024
Our whole family sees Dr Kennedy! He’s top Notch!!! All our children totally trust him! He’s so ... kind and gentle to them! Very knowledgeable and thorough for his exams! Had an eye emergency and got right in to see him for a quick fix! Our family cannot say enough about Dr Kennedy! Gil is also very good in optical! Very knowledgeable and helpful!
- Jan. 24, 2024
Bree was excellent in the ‘pre-doctor’ exams. Dr. Kennedy was thorough and I finally feel I have... a true explanation of what is going on with my eyes.
- Jan. 20, 2024
I highly recommend Elgin Family Eye Care to everyone.
- Jan. 05, 2024
Great eye doctor and great staff. Very quick service and friendly staff!
- Dec. 09, 2023
I have been a patient for many, many years. From the moment I walk in and throughout my visit, the ... individuals at the front desk are always professional and friendly. The person who checked me in was also very helpful in answering any questions I had. Dr. Kennedy has always been professional and kind. He is thorough, patient and takes the time to listen to and answer your questions. At this time, I have no intention of going anywhere else for eye care. I have also had great customer service from everyone at Elgin Family EyeCare. Kudos to the staff.
- Nov. 19, 2023
The doctors are very knowledgeable and take their time explaining everything to you. Their sales ass... ociates are also very knowledgeable and take their time assisting you through the eyeglasses and contact purchase.
- Nov. 17, 2023
The staff and Doctors at Elgin Family Eye truly care and it shows in their interactions with patient... s and with each other. They are amazing and you will not be disappointed that you decided to book an appointment with them!
- Nov. 16, 2023
The very best eye doctor ever. Dr. Kennedy is so professional, extremely knowledgeable thorough expl... ains everything answered all your questions. You can tell he’s very caring passionate about his career. Thank you!
- Nov. 10, 2023
I highly recommend Elgin Family Eyecare. Dr. Brauer is wonderful!
- Nov. 08, 2023
The staff are all great - very helpful and kind. They seem interested in preventative care as well, ... with the exam that takes an image of the back of the eye. Never had that done before at any other eye doctor, but it was informative and interesting. Dr Kennedy made me feel comfortable and answered all my questions, even did a quick follow up exam after putting in my new contacts to ensure I had the correct prescription. Great experience!
- Oct. 31, 2023
Always a great experience!
- Oct. 26, 2023
Very helpful, welcoming and professional.

View All 301 Reviews

Diabetic Retinopathy FAQs

What are the major risk factors for diabetic retinopathy?

As the name suggests, diabetes is the main risk factor for developing diabetic retinopathy. Be mindful of your family history of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, get an annual eye exam to detect potential problems early.

Other conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Moreover, those of African or Hispanic descent have a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Can diabetic retinopathy be prevented?

There are a number of ways to preserve your vision and reduce the risk of vision and eye damage due to diabetic retinopathy.

  • Visit your eye doctor for annual eye exams.
  • Control your blood sugar levels.
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking.

The best thing you can do right now is to schedule your eye exam with Elgin Family EyeCare in Elgin to ensure that everything is in check.

Does diabetic retinopathy cause blindness?

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the main causes of blindness among work-aged adults. It affects one in three people with diabetes and often goes unnoticed at first. Diagnosing and treating the condition early on can prevent severe vision loss.


blood sugaer level testing kit

Have diabetes?

Early detection and timely treatment can prevent vision loss.

Schedule Eye Exam