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Diabetic retinopathy is damage caused to the retina caused by diabetes, and can eventually lead to blindness. It affects up to 80 % of people with diabetes, and is the leading cause of blindness in working age Americans. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy, non-proliferative and proliferative. The retina is the layer of tissue in back of the eye that changes light and images into signals sent to the brain.

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy develops first and involves the swelling and leakage of blood vessels in the back of the eye. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is more severe, involving the closing of blood vessels in the back of the eye and the growth of abnormal, bleeding vessels.

Symptoms often include: blurred vision, slow vision loss, floaters, shadows, missing areas of vision, and trouble seeing at night. Most people with early diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms before major bleeding occurs. At least 90 % of diabetic patients can have reduced risk of visual damage through monitoring and treatment with an ophthalmologist. Diabetic patients are advised to have a dilated eye exam twice a year, keep tight control of blood sugar, blood pressure,and cholesterol. It should also be noted that uncontrolled diabetes can greatly increase the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.

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COVID-19 UPDATE and your appointment please click here.

Dear Patient,
As a valued patient of the office of William E. Sponsel M.D., we appreciate the trust you place in us and want to inform you about how we are addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are closely monitoring events in our local community and continuously updating our policies and protocols as a result of new information.

Our highest priority is to keep all of our patients and staff as safe as possible. At the recommendation of CDC, we will be screening patients prior to allowing them to enter the facilities. If you have been exposed to anybody that has tested positive for COVID-19, or experiencing fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms please call to re-schedule your appointment.

Should you have an appointment you will be asked to call the office and stay in your vehicle/outside until our patient coordinator calls you to enter for your appointment. They will meet you at the suite, you will be required to fill out a questionnaire about any current medical symptoms so that we do not expose other patients and staff.

We will take your temperature upon entering, if you have a fever, cough, or experiencing any flu-like symptoms the urgency of your appointment will be reassessed by Dr. Sponsel to determine whether or not you will be seen at that time or re-scheduled. Please look for upcoming information regarding COVID-19, as the situation is changing daily.

If you have any questions or concerns about your appointment, please call our office at (210)223-9292, or after hours answering service at (757)-278-1657.
Thank you for your continued trust and loyalty as we work together to fight this virus.

Dr. Sponsel M.D. and staff.

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