Treating diabetic retinopathy with compassionate care, leading technology

Why should someone choose the UTMB Health Eye Center for retina care? Dr. Bernard Godley, a specialist in retinal diseases, said it is because patients receive compassionate, holistic care and leading-edge treatments provided by the nation’s most highly trained doctors.

"First and foremost, we are committed to giving our patients quality, compassionate care. We take a holistic approach to caring for our patients who have diabetes or who are at risk of developing diabetic eye disease," Godley said.

Approximately 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes and one-third of them do not know it. Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness among adults, and people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind than people without it. By detecting and treating diabetic retinopathy early through annual, dilated eye exams, people with diabetes can preserve their sight.

Godley said, "If you notice a sudden decrease in vision, a block in a certain part of your visual field, floaters or flashes of light, you should see a retina specialist."

High blood-sugar levels from diabetes can damage blood vessels in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue at the back of your eye, resulting in diabetic retinopathy. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent vision loss, and it's important that people with diabetes maintain control of their blood sugar.

"We discuss with our patients their blood sugar levels, weight control and other risk factors to prevent diabetic retinopathy. We also communicate with letters to their primary care providers to ensure a seamless, team approach," Godley said.

UTMB Health Eye Center doctors, who have trained at the nation's top institutions, also collaborate with the UTMB Stark Diabetes Center staff to identify and treat patients with diabetic eye diseases, again providing holistic patient care.

"We also take pride in caring for our patients with the newest technologies and treatments," Godley said.

As a leading academic and research center, ophthalmologists at the UTMB Health Eye Center conduct clinical studies to research the newest treatments.

"Working in a culture that constantly seeks treatment advancements, we are part of a nationwide network of doctors who compare research results to evaluate and confirm the most effective new treatments for our patients."

Eye Center doctors also use leading imaging technology and surgical center equipment in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

"Doctors in academic centers are constantly striving to find the best care. At UTMB, there are more retina specialists than at any other academic center in the area, and we have a culture of constant improvement in treatments," he said.

For additional information about diabetic retinopathy, including how it is treated, visit the diabetic retinopathy section of EyeCare America.

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