Preserve Your Vision With Vision Care Specialists

Diabetic Retinopathy in Southborough

Preserve Your Vision With Vision Care Specialists

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


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 Vision Care Specialists 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, Vision Care Specialists in Southborough 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.


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.

Give Your Eyes the Care They Deserve

Please call the office to schedule Functional Vision Evaluations, Vision Therapy, or Ortho K.


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 Vision Care Specialists in Southborough 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.

Patient Reviews
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- Jun. 03, 2024
I have been going to the eye doctor for 23 years and I don't believe that I've had a better experien... ce with an eye doctor! Dr. White was thorough, not pushy, and personable. I have bounced around eye doctors for a long time, but will see Dr. White consistently going forward and will have my family see him as well. The front office was also friendly and everything was smooth and easy.
- Nov. 10, 2023
After noticing I was having double vision, I went to see Dr. Abbondanza hoping to get some help. I�... �m forever grateful for Dr. Abbondanza and his team for creating a vision therapy plan for me and teaching me the tools to improve my vision. As with other therapies, vision therapy requires hard work from the patient but having Lynne and Niki as my therapists helped me stay accountable. They encouraged me and were genuinely happy about my weekly progress. Thank you all for what you do, it truly makes a difference.
- Aug. 26, 2023
I am visiting from overseas and ended up with a pretty bad eye infection. Luckily I was able to get ... an appointment with Dr. John Abbondanza right away at the Vision Care Specialists. Everyone there was so friendly and helpful and with the very professional help I received from Dr. John and his assistants, my infection got better very quickly so I could still enjoy my vacation. Thank you very much!! If you are looking for someone who really looks after you, I can really highly recommend the Vision Care Specialists!!
- Aug. 21, 2023
Dr Abbondanza and his team are truly the best. Everyone is extremely hospitable and treats you with ... the most amount of care. They are very diligent with the examinations and follow up. I would recommend VCS to anyone looking for an optometrist office!!
- Jul. 25, 2023
Professional, excellent, compassionate care. Staff are efficient and courteous. Dr. A. was thorough,... took the time to explain what he was doing and what he observed, and made sure any questions I had were answered fully. Highly recommend!
- Jul. 11, 2023
The best most professional Eye Dr services ...
- Oct. 14, 2022
An excellent experience. My daughter was the patient, new to the practice. Everyone was professiona... l and friendly. Her eye exam was quite thorough & Dr. John gave us a complete rundown of his findings and suggestions on how to remediate her visual processing issues. His approach was both detailed and thoughtful and he took time to answer our questions. Recommend this practice highly.
- Feb. 01, 2022
My family and I have been going to this practice for over 15 years and the staff are all incredible.... They are all very friendly and go above and beyond what you would typically expect when visiting the Optometrist. Getting your eyes checked with them is truly an enjoyable experience. When I was younger I saw Dr. Abbondanza for Vision Therapy because I had trouble reading and it made a world of difference for me. For the past several years I have been seeing Dr. Levine for orthokeratology which provides perfect vision for 24 hours a day, without the discomfort that can sometimes accompany daytime lenses. Recently I had an ophthalmological emergency late at night during a blizzard. Dr. Abbondanza worked with me on the phone for several hours while we struggled to find a pharmacy that was open and accessible during the storm. The next day, a Sunday, Dr. Levine met me at his otherwise closed offices in order to examine my eye, and give me more information regarding the issue and treatment. It is rare to find doctors who care so much for their patients and go to such extreme lengths to help them. Even in the event that I moved across the country I could see myself flying home any time I needed to see the eye doctors at VCS.
- Jan. 07, 2022
Dr Levine and Dr Abbondanza are both fantastic. Dr Levine has treated me for years. I have some comp... lex eye issues and have received expert care. He dramatically improved my vision. I have had a few urgent eye concerns, and I was seen promptly. He diagnosed 2 issues that had gone unnoticed by more than 1 neurologist. One thing he picked up may have saved my life. I mean that truly, and as a physician not just a happy patient. Optometry students do rotations and when I asked if it was “just me or does Dr. Levine have more than the usual amount of fancy high tech machines” and one student told me that yes, he does. He said students are eager to come here. I think it’s really cool to see an image of the inside of your eye. As is true for all good doctors/dentists/optomotrists, a new patient appt might take awhile to book as he has lots of repeat patients. It is worth the wait. His office is well run. He has had almost no staff turnover that I have seen. The opticians are top notch - best I have worked with ever. Pricing for glasses is transparent. There are never “secret” or unexpected charges at the time of pick up. The office manager/secretaries are wonderful and the office is very well run. COVID-precaution wise his office procedures are excellent.
- Oct. 20, 2021
Everyone at this office is so kind and helpful! All of my concerns were addressed by Dr. Abbondanza,... and the opticians and receptionists were amazing as well!! Highly recommend this practice!
- Jun. 08, 2021
The explanations of the exam were superb! Taking the time to talk and explain made this the best eye... exam. High points for the carefulness and concern shown
- Jun. 03, 2021
My experience with Dr. John was absolutely delightful! Who knew you could actually enjoy going to th... e eye doctor? His exam of my eyes was the most thorough and comprehensive I have ever received. In addition, he was genuinely kind and explained everything he was doing and seeing in great detail. I recommend this practice without hesitation!
- May. 21, 2021
The best authentic and genuinely pleasant people to be around. Made going to the eye doctor a pleasu... re that I can say I enjoyed and will look forward to and recommend. The doctor was very clear, fun, intelligent, thorough, and skilled at communicating and staying organized. My health was assessed thoroughly and everything was explained very well. The good mood and positive energy is contagious.
- May. 17, 2021
Very Happy with Dr. John and Staff. Exam was very thorough. I did not feel rushed and Dr. John an... swered all my questions and concerns I am so happy to be with Vision Care. Thank you for your excellent service.
- May. 03, 2021
I didn't see an optometrist there. I just went to get a new pair of glasses. The opticians were very... polite and professional and take Covid-19 precautions very seriously.
- Apr. 12, 2021
Dr Levine is truly helping to save my daughter's vision! She started with glasses in preschool and n... ow 4 years later has the vision of someone 4x her age. We are using eye drops at night and a check up every few months to monitor the changes and Dr Levine is right on top of things. Anytime I have a question he takes the time to answer and explain everything to me. I would highly recommend Vision Care Specialists!!
- Oct. 30, 2020
This was my first ever eye exam and glasses buying experience and I must give the folks at Vision Ca... re Specialist a AAA+++ rating. Dr. Levine and the staff I interacted with were all great. They made me feel very comfortable and answered all my questions without hesitation. After the exam, they worked with me to find just the right frames. Even ordering a pair in an alternative color for me to try on, only for me to pick yet another pair that caught my eye when I went back to see them. I can't wait to pick them up. They do take their Covid precautions seriously, but everything is well thought out and I again felt very safe and comfortable during both visits. I would most definitely recommend them to family and friends and you.
- Oct. 27, 2020
My daughter was referred to Dr. Abbondanza after my sister-in-law (also an optometrist) had noticed... she was having some tracking issues. She was evaluated and a very thorough and comprehensive vision therapy plan was put in place. The team and Vision Care Specialist was amazing and everyone there was supportive and encouraging. During the tail end of her treatment, we were all put into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. VCS communicated their plan throughout the entire time. Not wanting her to miss her last few session (she was SO close to finishing) they organized online sessions with Dr. Abbondanza so my daughter would stay on track. Her follow up evaluation went great and I have seen a noticeable improvement in her reading skills and comprehension as well as her self confidence! She was a good student to begin with, but as the material gets more difficult and dense I feel she now has to tools to keep up with her studies. Thanks to Dr. Abbondanza and his team at VCS!
- Sep. 23, 2020
This place is amazing. I have been going to see Dr Abbondanza for 10+ years. He is really passiona... te about what he does and is excellent at his job--always gets complicated issues right on the first try. I moved over an hour away and I still came back to see him. During Covid, his team has gone out of their way to help me. I needed new glasses but because of underlying health conditions, I couldn't come into the building to pick out new frames. Working with Kristin in the optical dept, she was open to figuring out how to get me a new pair, which included coming out to my car to get an ancient pair of glasses out of my trunk, taking them back to the office to do measurements, and bringing them down again. She researched to get me an almost exact same frame and had them sent to me. Amazing. These are trying times and I can't thank them enough for helping me out of a tough spot. I am forever in their debt. You won't go wrong by using them. They are good, good people.
- Sep. 05, 2020
Very thorough and professional eye exam. The doctor really worked with me to make sure my glasses wo... uld work for me. Knowledgeable and helpful opticians.

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Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis & Treatment in Southborough

Our optometry practice in Southborough

Photograph of John  Abbondanza
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • EyeMed
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Unicare

blood sugaer level testing kit

Have diabetes?

Early detection and timely treatment can prevent vision loss.

Schedule Eye Exam