Preserve Your Vision With Far West Optical

Diabetic Retinopathy in Austin

Preserve Your Vision With Far West Optical

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


Give Your Eyes the Care They Deserve

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 Far West Optical 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, Far West Optical in Austin 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 Austin

Our optometry practice in Austin

Photograph of Erik  Haselhorst
Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Superior Vision
  • Davis Vision
  • Anthem
  • 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
4.6
171 Reviews
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- Feb. 12, 2024
Dr. Gasser is friendly and efficient. Thanks!
- Jan. 14, 2024
Dr. Haselhorst talked me through the entire appointment about what he was doing and provided me with... extra contacts and solution. Ms. Karla Morse is an amazing practice manager. She price matched my contacts and helped me find new glasses.
- Nov. 16, 2023
The staff is lovely. Dr. Gasser was thorough and explained everything as we went
- Nov. 07, 2023
Great doctor and team! They also had a great selection of frames to choose from. I love to have su... ch a professional office in our neighborhood.
- Oct. 11, 2023
I was travelling through Austin and a screw fell out of my prescription sunglasses causing the lens ... to fall out. The very kind and helpful ladies at the front desk were able to do a quick repair and get me back on the road. Small thing, but much appreciated!
- Sep. 07, 2023
Super friendly staff, especially the receptionists! They do great work.
- Jul. 12, 2023
Staff is amazing.. I would highly recommend and will be going back.
- Jul. 02, 2023
Friendly and thorough staff with minimal wait time.
- Jun. 15, 2023
Could not recommend this wonderful group of people more! We had an emergency where a family member w... as in a ton of pain and needed to be seen asap. The team understood the urgency, treated my family with grace and warmth and made sure we got the care we needed. Not just the Doctor, everyone from the staff checking us in to the gentleman who brought us to the room, and everyone in between was so kind and helpful.
- Jun. 02, 2023
Thorough, Professional, courteous, and timely. Recommend!
- May. 22, 2023
Very friendly and staff is very knowledgeable on what insurance covers.
- May. 15, 2023
Best fits in town for wonderful glasses!
- Apr. 21, 2023
The staff is so friendly and helpful. Dr Tam was great. He made my first visit without Dr Coldiron g... reat! The optician and front desk staff always go above and beyond to make sure your visit is easy!
- Apr. 21, 2023
My wife and I have been seeing Dr Coldiron since 2014 or earlier. We have enjoyed her services and w... ill miss her tremendously. Elijah who does the pre-check is a wonderful breath of fresh air. Do not lose him. The office ladies in the front we're super helpful. Now we have to make a decision to as to who we use as a doctor now. We don't know the other doctors there we will definitely talk to Dr Coldiron
- Mar. 26, 2023
I had a great optometrist and eye exam. Very professional, excellent doctor, not rushed and nice st... aff, too.
- Mar. 21, 2023
Been going here for over 25 years - fantastic doctors and staff!
- Mar. 10, 2023
Very fast and kind people ! Nice selection of frames too. Very open to questions.
- Jan. 25, 2023
This place has excellent customer service and they are very nice. They took very good care of me. Th... anks
- Dec. 22, 2022
The best 👍👍
- Nov. 18, 2022
Dr. Coldiron takes the time to review test results very thoroughly. I will miss her when she retire... s!

View All 171 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 Far West Optical in Austin 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