Diabetic Retinopathy – Las Vegas Eye Doctor Discusses Ways to Help Prevent a Leading Cause of Blindness in America
Ophthalmologist Helga F. Pizio, MD of New Eyes offers tips on diabetic retinopathy prevention and discusses the importance of early detection.
Las Vegas, NV – According to Dr. Helga F. Pizio, a Las Vegas eye doctor and the head of New Eyes in Southern Nevada, diabetes afflicts about 387 million people across the globe. The condition is characterized by the body’s inability to keep blood sugar at a normal level. Complications from the condition can have serious effects on the kidneys and virtually every part of the body – including the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy, a disease in which bleeding and/or fluid leakage from blood vessels occurs in the back of the eye, can lead to severe vision impairment – and even blindness – if left untreated. Dr. Pizio says, since symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are typically not overt in its early stages, the importance of having regular eye exams cannot be understated. “Many of the changes from diabetes go undetected because they don’t affect your vision right away. So, visit your eye doctor regularly, at least once a year, for a dilated exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can prevent you from having permanent vision damage.”
In a recent video on diabetic retinopathy prevention, Dr. Pizio says there are three things patients who are at risk for the condition can do to reduce the chance of life-altering vision impairment. In addition to regular eye exams, Dr. Pizio recommends the following:
- Control body weight and blood sugar levels. Excess weight and high blood sugar can make diabetic retinopathy worse, as well as cause other severe health complications.
- Control high blood pressure and cholesterol with diet and exercise. Dr. Pizio says these conditions can exacerbate bleeding and leakage from diabetic retinopathy.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can make bleeding in the back of the eye worse.
Dr. Pizio says individuals at risk for diabetic retinopathy are those with type II diabetes and “pre-diabetics,” as well as those who have been type 1 diabetics for longer than 10 years. She says diabetics who are also smokers and those who have high blood pressure are also at a greater risk for diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Pizio notes that symptoms of the condition include hazy or blurry vision, double vision, and floaters (dots, specks, lines, or clouds that appear across one’s vision); however, she reiterates that these symptoms typically occur after visual damage has already set in, which makes it vital to see a qualified eye doctor to have the eyes checked regularly.
With annual eye exams and immediate attention from a doctor as soon as one notices changes in his or her vision, Dr. Pizio says diabetic retinopathy can be caught and treated early, helping to dramatically minimize the chances of severe vision impairment.
About Helga F. Pizio, MD
Dr. Helga F. Pizio is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and has been named a Top Doctor in Vegas Magazine and a Vitals Top 10 Doctor in Nevada. As the founder of New Eyes, Dr. Pizio leads a team of eye surgeons offering procedures such as LASIK laser vision correction, cataract surgery, and treatment for conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, and corneal disease. Dr. Pizio is available for interview upon request.
To learn more about Dr. Pizio and her practice, please visit neweyeslasvegas.com and facebook.com/neweyeslasvegas.
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