Preserve Your Vision With Urban Optix

Diabetic Retinopathy in South Lake Union

Preserve Your Vision With Urban Optix

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 Urban Optix 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, Urban Optix in South Lake Union 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 South Lake Union

Our optometry practice in South Lake Union

Photograph of Sean  Thoreby
Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • EyeMed
  • Blue Cross
  • First Choice Health

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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170 Reviews
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- Feb. 05, 2024
When I left my job, I didn't go to Urban Optix for a couple years. But I couldn't find a place that ... had the same service and vibe. This is such a sweet place. They are quick, fun, and have great taste. And they always ask about my dog/child. lol.
- Feb. 05, 2024
Great !!! Everything
- Jan. 21, 2024
I recently came to Urban Optix as a new patient and had an amazing experience! I scheduled my appoin... tment online, and had my annual exam with Dr. Lee. She is amazing, and so thorough and kind! She took her time to explain everything, and was extremely patient in answering all my questions—no matter how big or small. I love finding great doctors that actually care, and no doubt I’ve found a good one with Dr. Lee. I also wanted to give contacts a try after 10+ years of glasses, so we did it. Anna was training me and she was the kindest, most patient teacher ever. She was giving me love demos with her own contacts, and never once made me feel like a nuisance. It took me an hour to get them in, and after an hour of trying to get them out Dr. Lee had to help, lol. But that’s on me, they were doing nothing but being supportive and cheering me on. I’d also like to note that they are VERY transparent with pricing and what you’re going to be paying before you do anything at all. Not once did I feel like I didn’t know what was going on or what I was being charged for. Kudos to the team for being so thorough with all my insurance info and copays! All this to say, I had an amazing experience and will certainly be coming back as long as Dr. Lee is here!
- Jan. 06, 2024
Everyone is nice and professional!
- Dec. 30, 2023
Fantastic staff and Dr. Lee is amazing! Very knowledgeable and friendly!
- Dec. 29, 2023
I've been coming to Urban Optix for a few years and it's always been an excellent experience! Helpf... ul and knowledgable staff, never have to wait for my appointment, and Dr. Traci Lee is just amazing! Highly recommend this shop.
- Dec. 16, 2023
Great experience with the doctor and the staff.
- Nov. 27, 2023
Everyone here was awesome! So sweet and welcoming definitely recommend urban optix! Anna was really ... great to chat with while picking out my glasses
- Nov. 25, 2023
The entire staff is very customer service oriented. Dr. Thoreby is a great 👍 optometrist, explain... ed every step of the eye exam helping to learn how to take care of your eyes and always asked if you have any questions.
- Sep. 23, 2023
Great group of humans here. Very friendly, informative, and efficient!
- Sep. 14, 2023
Traci Lee is the very best. Such a professional, and extremely thorough.
- Jan. 13, 2023
I've been going to Dr. Traci and Urban Optix on and off since 2016 and they are great-easy to schedu... le, great location, updated technology, and a great selection of glasses. I had to use a different clinic for a few years due to poor coverage with my grad student insurance (although I've heard that UO's insurance policies have been updated and UW GAIP goes a lot further now), and I found UO to have much more modern and proactive eye medicine than the other place I tried. Their frames selection is the best I've ever seen and they have unique glasses (such as Masunaga) you cannot find anywhere else, the staff are experts on fit, lenses, etc, and the prices are very fair (even when I switched clinics, I always bought frames here). They've gone out of their way to order frames for me and work with me on payment options when I was a PhD student struggling to afford glasses. UO loyal!
- Jan. 09, 2023
i had such a great experience here (: dr lee is awesome. she was so helpful, and because my insuranc... e wasn’t going to cover the cost of my new glasses, she made sure i didn’t feel any pressure to buy some while i was there. i ended up getting a pair anyway and the person that helped me with the frames was so sweet. totally recommend this place! 💞
- Dec. 29, 2022
Urban Optix is the absolute best. I’ve been going for over 5 years now. Beyond the customer experi... ence, a full 5 starts. Dr. Lee and Dr. Thoreby are both outstanding. I’ve seen both of them over the past few years and they take the time to get to know me as a patient, my lifestyle, and concerns with my eye sight and health conditions. I’ve recommended them to folks around me, but finally getting to this long over due 5 star review! 🙂 See you in the new year!
- Nov. 21, 2022
Decided to get contacts and had my training with Gigi. She is super patient and supportive, and real... ly encouraged me to finish it. Also really appreciate Cathy for my first training. The eye exam was also very smooth with Dr. Sean and he is also very responsive regarding to my questions.
- Nov. 14, 2022
I LOVE my eye doctor of 10+ years so when it was time to find a new one, I had very high standards i... n mind - turns out Dr.Lee and team are amazing and I feel great about my eye health. 10/10
- Sep. 09, 2022
Dr. Lee is so attentive and answers all of my questions. Her staff is knowledgeable and welcoming, a... nd they have a great selection of glasses/sunglasses. I also love that her team helps me understand my insurance and what my plan covers. My eye exam finally doesn't feel like a chore!
- Jun. 09, 2022
TLDR: The Opticians are knowledgable on lens and frame styling. These new glasses are clear, comfort... able; do not slide off my face, are stylish. Thanks to Dr. Lee and Optical team! <3 <3 🙂 -- It was my day off and I needed an eye exam. I was able to booked an eye exam through their online booking system within less than 2 hours of the appointment all on my phone! I knew my vision/medical insurance ahead of time and this made everything pretty simple. I walked in for my exam and got seen right away by the same tech I saw last year; nice to see familiar faces! Dr. Traci Lee is so personable and nice. After my exam; I was given some new contacts to try out and was greeted with an optician to help frame styling. I am about a -9.50D in both eyes and needed some new eyewear. Fitting my "coke-bottle" lenses can often be hard, especially with small pupillary distances. Also, managing function AND fashion with my prescription can be such a task! I was presented with MANY options and then possible color ways available for special order online. After finding the perfect pair I was able to score some Non-Rx sunglasses with nose pads; this can be super hard to find if you have a flat-asian bridge. LOL :3 Anyway, this was my second visit; and what prompted me to finally write this was the selling experience. I received frequent updates and emails on when my glasses and contacts were ready; love that. All in all, Dr. Lee's optical team is so stellar.
- Apr. 05, 2022
“100% satisfied. RAD team. Thank you for treating me with respect!”
- Feb. 21, 2022
Great experience! The team is very professional and friendly!

View All 170 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 Urban Optix in South Lake Union 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