Preserve Your Vision With Penn Eye Care

Diabetic Retinopathy in Willowbrook

Preserve Your Vision With Penn Eye Care

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 Penn Eye Care 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, Penn Eye Care in Willowbrook 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 Willowbrook

Our optometry practice in Willowbrook

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  • Monday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Spectera
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

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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- Jan. 16, 2023
Dr. Penn and his staff are excellent. Highly recommend talking to Holly if your in need of any conta... cts or glasses. She is the best when it comes to knowing the best styles and fits for your particular face. Thanks for always taking care of me.
- Nov. 29, 2022
Dr. Penn is honestly the best there is in his field. Trust me my eyes are a mess and he always gets ... my prescriptions correct. When he retires I am going to need him to see me at his house. It gives me anxiety just thinking about him retiring. 🙂
- Oct. 28, 2022
I have been coming to Dr. Penn for a few years now. Even when I moved away I still traveled back for... visits. His staff has been helpful and treat you like family
- Oct. 23, 2022
I was referred to Penn eye care by a coworker and would recommend them for their great service.
- Oct. 11, 2022
I look forward to my visits
- Aug. 11, 2022
I have being seen by Dr. Penn for more than 15 years for my eye care needs. Excellent service and ve... ry satisfied. Definitely will recommend visiting for eye care
- Aug. 05, 2022
Quiet, clean, not too long of a wait! The Dr. Was quick and very nice! Overall great experience!
- Aug. 05, 2022
Been going here for years and never had a bad experience here ever.
- Jul. 19, 2022
Great office team that is always ready to help and Dr. Penn is a great doctor that really makes you ... feel very confortable throughout the visit.
- Jul. 05, 2022
Very nice and professional staff and Dr. Penn has always taken care of us.
- Apr. 04, 2022
The doctor is quick and efficient. The staff is equally efficient, friendly, and knowledgeable.
- Mar. 04, 2022
I am treated like a queen when I walk into Dr. Penn's. I love these ladies and Dr. Penn is a longtim... e friend. Have tried others, but I always come back to Dr. Penn. Trusted, Tried, and True.
- Feb. 20, 2022
I have trusted Dr. Penn with my eye care for over 20 years. (Going back to his days at Eyemasters) ... He and his staff are a solution oriented team of eye care professionals. Whether it’s routine or emergency care they are there when you need them.
- Feb. 15, 2022
I’ve been coming to Penn Eye Care for years now since they accept my insurance. Everyone here has ... always been nice, attentive, and provide great customer service. Their new doctor, Dr. Kim, was great as well. As long as they continue to accept my insurance, I’ll keep returning here for glasses.
- Dec. 27, 2021
Love Dr. Penn and the staff!! Been coming to them for years.
- Dec. 04, 2021
Professional service and staff are very friendly thanks
- Nov. 23, 2021
Great service! My oldest child is 24 now and we've been coming to Dr. Penn for years. I saw Dr. Kim... yesterday and liked her as well!
- Nov. 12, 2021
Been here for years. Friendly and caring. My whole family chooses Penn Eye Care!
- Nov. 04, 2021
THIS. PLACE. IS. AMAZING. I had a bad experience with America’s Best Eye Care after three times I ... told them the prescription is off, slow shipping of glasses, contacts never showed up. So we cancelled that order and went with my bfs parents suggestion. At Penn Eye Care I was able to file out my form online, seen by the first eye assistant within 8mins (and we were early so we got in I believe even before my appointment time) I got actual pictures of my eyes (only an extra $40 and it shows if you even have diabetes or not! Technology!!) the gal, I didn’t catch her name but she was so sweet. She and no one else there shamed me for how old my contacts were, unlike how ABEC did… and Dr. Penn was amazing. They all could see I was struggling w seeing and confirmed AB gave me completely wrong prescriptions. I got DKNY glasses and eye care (w no insurance) even cheaper than AB and their non designer glasses and long wait time) my glasses came in the mail in, I kid you not, 5 days. And that includes weekend days. Going to pick up contacts and a pair of sunglasses (which if you get before the year end is 50% off even if you don’t buy it all at the same time) Richard Le helped us out with everything and was suuuper incredible. Hands down will never go anywhere else. I’m so happy to be able to see again and I won’t be missing those headaches lol. THANKS AGAIN!!! I’ll post a review on Facebook sometime after the contacts get ordered.
- Oct. 28, 2021
Satisfied patient for 16+ years.

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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 Penn Eye Care in Willowbrook 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