Preserve Your Vision With Advanced EyeCare Associates

Diabetic Retinopathy in Greater Lowell

Preserve Your Vision With Advanced EyeCare Associates

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 Advanced EyeCare Associates 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, Advanced EyeCare Associates in Greater Lowell 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 Greater Lowell

Our optometry practice in Greater Lowell

Photograph of Steven P.  Sikalis
Hours
  • 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 - 12:00 pm
    1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • EyeMed
  • 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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113 Reviews
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- Jul. 12, 2023
Great eye care. Very helpful and friendly staff. Dr. Sikalis is an amazing Optometrist. Highly recom... mend.
- Mar. 21, 2023
Great experience! My concerns were listened to and everything was explained very clearly to help wit... h my dry eyes. Tori and Debbie were extremely helpful when I was picking out glasses. I'm very indecisive and they both had great patience and gave me great advice!
- Nov. 12, 2022
Very professional. Well organized. Dr. Sikalis takes time to explain everything to you. Great plac... e!!
- Nov. 09, 2022
Very thorough with eye exams and staff is so warm and friendly!
- Oct. 07, 2022
A long term patient of Steve Sikalis, I can’t say enough about the care and consideration I receiv... e. Steve takes the time to explain everything to me and I know he joins me in advocating for my eye health. Proficient and friendly; that’s what I want in my health care professionals. Dr Sikalis is all that and more.
- Sep. 28, 2022
Very nice stuffs. . On time appointments. Happy to be there .
- Jul. 28, 2022
Been going here for years. Staff is always pleasant, and Dr. Sikalis is wonderful!
- Jul. 27, 2022
Loved
- Jun. 29, 2022
I brought my dad here as a new patient, Dr. Harney is very efficient, took his time and explain ever... ything relating to diabetic eye disease.
- Apr. 28, 2022
Very friendly coming in. The doctor took time in explaining his findings and what they meant. Friend... ly with helping pick out glasses.
- Apr. 07, 2022
Dr Chris K is such an awesome human being. He has taken care of my dad and daughter’s eyes for yea... rs. The team is amazing at this practice. I strongly recommend Advanced Eye Care Associates.
- Mar. 30, 2022
The staff was kind and efficient! I would definitely recommend Advanced Eye Associates!
- Mar. 17, 2022
I really liked this place and was comfortable being there.. very nice people here.. would definitely... recommend it
- Feb. 21, 2022
Very friendly, very efficient, thorough eye exam. Doctor took the time to talk and explain. Everyb... ody works together seamlessly - it is obviously a very well-run office, and it is also obvious that everybody loves working there and being a part of the team. Wife had diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions. She went here for several years and loved them and the care she got. They took good care of her, and she - and I - couldn't say enough nice things about them.
- Feb. 17, 2022
Dr Sikalis is an excellent educator on your eye health and well-being. Glad I found this office many... years ago.
- Feb. 01, 2022
Gone there for years, everyone is so nice and helpful!
- Jan. 28, 2022
They are very friendly ,very professional They explained everything to me what's going on I was very... pleased with the service i would recommend it to everyone.
- Jan. 25, 2022
I had the BEST experience at Advanced Eye Care with Dr. Karalekas! I was in need of an immediate ap... pointment, and found this practice on the VSP website under their premier office listings. The staff was extremely professional and helpful, and booked a same-day appointment for my emergency. Dr. Karalekas was kind, empathetic, and had a wonderful manner with me as a patient. He addressed all my concerns and was able to refer me to a specialist (also the same day!) for a second opinion on my issue. The staff at Advanced Eye Care Associates was wonderful and I'll be switching my routine wellness visits to this office. I was so pleased and happy to have found this practice on a quick search, and am looking forward to receiving my regular care here. Thank you again from a very satisfied NEW patient!!!
- Jan. 05, 2022
I had my first visit with Advanced Eye Care yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. The tech explain... ed each test in detail and what they do even though this wasn't my first eye exam. Doctor Harney took the time to listen to me and explained the test results. He was friendly and professional and I'll be using this practice for my eye exams from now on!
- Dec. 24, 2021
I've been to quite a few eye Dr over the years and none have compared to Advanced Eye Care. Dr Kara... likas is the best! He genuinely cares about his patients and work. And the staff is always pleasant and very helpful. I highly recommend.

View All 113 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 Advanced EyeCare Associates in Greater Lowell 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