Preserve Your Vision With Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills

Diabetic Retinopathy in Jefferson Hills

Preserve Your Vision With Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills

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 Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills 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, Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills in Jefferson Hills 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 Jefferson Hills

Our optometry practice in Jefferson Hills

Photograph of Robert  Bittel
Hours
  • Monday 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Spectera
  • Medicaid
  • Anthem
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross
  • MetLife
  • Aetna

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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17 Reviews
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- Mar. 27, 2024
Went for a routine eye exam and prescription check. Dr. Mehalik was great!
- Dec. 21, 2022
Excellent service as usual. Dr Bittel has always treated our family with great care and professiona... lism
- Sep. 21, 2022
The whole staff was so friendly and kind. Everything went easy and smooth for being a first time pat... ient. The doctor is amazing! She is very kind.
- Jul. 21, 2022
I just went there yesterday for my first appointment and was very pleased with the staff there. They... were very friendly and the doctor there was super nice and helpful. It was a nice experience for me.
- Feb. 23, 2022
Great vision care by Dr Bittel for over 30 yrs!!! I wouldn’t go anywhere else!
- Sep. 16, 2021
They found a problem I didn’t know I had & sent me to an excellent laser surgeon & did the follow ... up at Coal Vally Rd. The office staff is outstanding along with Dr Robert Bittle.
- Jan. 16, 2020
I’m embarrassed to admit but I hadn’t had an eye exam for probably 10+ years...partly because of... no vision insurance and then when I did have insurance, I just kept putting it off...then I broke my glasses on Christmas Day and had to super glue one of the ear pieces, so the time had come. But I started to fear the unknown. Well, today I had my appointment (with a wonderful new eye doctor) and after a thorough dilated (that was the worst part!) exam with digital imaging done, my vision is perfect for someone my age - no glaucoma, no macular degeneration. New glasses ordered...all is good!!
- Sep. 10, 2019
Staff is always so pleasant and accommodating. Doctors are excellent.

View All 17 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 Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills in Jefferson Hills 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