What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a side effect of diabetes. It may cause blurred vision, vision that seems to fluctuate, dark strings or spots that seem to float across your vision, and eventually vision loss. The more uncontrolled your diabetes, the greater risk you stand of developing retinopathy. However, if you take care to get your condition under control and maintain your blood sugar at safe levels, you may avoid this complication. Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC, can diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy.

What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

When you have excessive amounts of sugar in your blood, this can interfere with blood flow in the tiny vessels that nourish the retina. As a result, the blood supply is cut off, and your eye attempts to grow new vessels in this area. If the new vessels don’t develop properly, they may leak blood. This can obscure your vision and may also lead to an excess of fluid buildup in your eye. Scar tissue may also develop where new blood vessels attempt to grow. They can cause your retina to detach from the back of the eye.

Do I Have Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

If you’re experiencing changes in your vision, it’s time to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. This is especially important if you have a condition such as diabetes or hypertension. Early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include trouble reading, trouble seeing far away, and trouble seeing at night. Advanced symptoms include seeing unexplained flashes of light as well as the other symptoms listed above. Surprisingly, you may have no symptoms at all if the condition is in its earliest stages.

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?

The first step in treating diabetic retinopathy is to bring diabetes under control. Through a healthy diet, daily exercise, and medication, you may be better able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Treatment for this disorder focuses on stopping its progression to prevent total vision loss. A vision specialist is the best choice when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders in Wilmington, NC.

Paul Vision Institute Can Help

In Wilmington, NC, Paul Vision Institute can diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy. Call today to schedule an eye exam and consultation. The sooner this condition is detected and treatment begins, the more successful the outcome.

Why We Offer Same-Day Eye Exams (Even for Routine Checkups)

We all know why same-day eye exams are sometimes necessary. After all, trauma and emergency conditions can pop up at any time — day or night. Yet not everyone realizes that last-minute eye exams can be done for more than just emergencies. We’ll look at why our staff will do everything they can to squeeze you in no matter when you call.

Working with Your Schedule

For some people, scheduling their doctor’s appointments is routine work. They know exactly when they can fit in a visit and they make the arrangements accordingly. If they need to request time off from work, it isn’t a problem with their boss.

However, not everyone has the same work- or home-life demands, and any eye doctor that assumes they do is doing them a disservice. If your days are hectic enough as it is, you need someone who understands how to work with you.

That’s why same-day eye exams in Wilmington, NC can be such a valuable service to those who want to take care of their eye health when they can find a little spare time. At the Paul Vision Institute, we’re here to help however we can by being as flexible as we can.

Why You Should Have a Same-Day Eye Exam

Eye exams are there to catch problems before they turn into life-changing conditions. It’s always going to be easiest to treat a disorder in the beginning stages. The work you do now can save anything from your vision to your very life. We know that it’s not always easy to find the time for an eye exam in Wilmington, NC, but the truth is that it’s not a luxury. This is a necessary service that can help you protect one of your most valuable organs.

Finding an Optometrist in Wilmington, NC

The right optometrist in Wilmington, NC will tell you more about how your eye health is progressing and what you can do to take care of yourself. If you find yourself putting off exams because of your busy schedule, there are options out there. The staff at Paul Vision Institute may not be able to respond to every request, but we’ll do everything we can to accommodate you.

Alternative Therapies for Glaucoma and Their Limitations

Glaucoma is well-known to lead to blindness if left untreated. However, even though this eye disease has no known cure, treatment can slow the progression of the condition for many years. While effective treatments are totally accessible at the eye doctor, many patients take the route of seeking alternative therapies. Here is a look at some of the commonly touted alternative treatment options for glaucoma and their actual limitations.


Certain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta carotene, or zinc have been examined as potential agents to help with managing glaucoma. However, no studies have established whether using antioxidants can actually help prevent the trademark vision loss that is associated with glaucoma. Make sure you get ample antioxidants in your diet to support your vision but trust your eye doctor for actual guidance to help slow progression and lower your risks of vision loss.


Marijuana has been shown to lower eye pressure, which is one of the most noteworthy traits of glaucoma. However, the relief of the eye pressure caused by glaucoma is only temporary after using marijuana, and using marijuana can obviously come along with several side effects and is still illegal in most states.


Acupuncture has been a well-known form of alternative therapy for a number of ailments, including glaucoma. Some suggest that acupuncture may help to lower eye pressure related to glaucoma, but no official studies have been done to prove these suggestions are accurate.

Trust an Eye Doctor for Glaucoma Treatment in Wilmington

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, trusting your eye doctor’s advice is ever-important. While some alternative therapies have shown promise for glaucoma, most have not been effectively studied through clinical trials or established as a viable treatment. Reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington to schedule an appointment to discuss glaucoma treatment.

Everyday Habits to Adopt for the Betterment of Your Visual Health

Even though there are eye health conditions that can be hard to avoid, much of your eye health relies on lifestyle choices. believe it or not, you can adopt numerous good habits when your eyes are already healthy that can help keep them that way for the long term. Take a look at just a few of the everyday habits you can adopt to sustain good visual health over the years.

Eat a balanced diet and get plenty of exercise.

Your eyes need specific vitamins and minerals to stay healthy: vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, and lutein are important to visual health. Try to eat a balanced diet rich in fresh foods. And, exercise when you can; even a 45-minute walk can help keep your blood circulating and blood pressure down to protect your vision.

Wear high-quality sunglasses when you’re out in the sun.

The sun is good for you, but the UV rays can be hard on your eyes. Make sure you slip on a quality pair of UV-protective lenses before heading outdoors to thwart your risks of sun damage to your eyes.

Keep your body well-hydrated.

Hydration plays a vital role in your overall health, including your visual health. Your eyes need ample lubrication to stay healthy, which happens due to natural tear production and relies on bodily hydration. Remember, men need about 15.5 cups of fluids daily and women need about 11.5 cups of fluid daily.

Avoid straining your eyes with too much screen time.

Screen strain is a real threat to modern eyes. From phones and tablets to TVs and computers, too much screen time can be detrimental to your visual health. Make it a point to give your eyes a break from screens. Stretch your eyes by looking in different directions periodically, and pay attention when your eyes are getting tired.

Talk to a Wilmington, NC Eye Doctor About Your Visual Health

Enlisting the help of an eye doctor means you have a professional helping you keep tabs on your visual health. If you need an eye doctor in Wilmington, NC to help keep your visual health in check, reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute to schedule an appointment.

An In-Depth Look at the Risk Factors Associated with Glaucoma

Glaucoma is estimated to affect as many as three million people in the United States alone. Unfortunately, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Here is a look at some of the primary risk factors of glaucoma to get to know.


Glaucoma is known to affect people no matter their age. However, open-angle glaucoma is more related to age; it tends to be more of a risk the older you get and is more prevalent in people over the age of 60. As you get older, the optic nerve can be more vulnerable to problems that lead to glaucoma.


Individuals who are of African or Latino descent may be at an increased risk of glaucoma. While people of all ethnicities can have glaucoma, individuals from these groups should be even more vigilant about monitoring for symptoms and having periodic screenings with an eye doctor.

Family History

While glaucoma is not necessarily considered a genetic eye disease, there may be a slightly elevated risk if a member of your immediate family has been diagnosed. Genetic factors seem to play a role in most forms of glaucoma. If one of your parents, a sibling, or even a grandparent was diagnosed, be on the lookout for symptoms with your own vision.


Certain lifestyle factors can heighten your risks of glaucoma, such as:

  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Not eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Smoking or being around secondhand smoke

If you believe you are at risk of glaucoma already due to other factors, making lifestyle changes to lower your risks can be even more important.

Talk to an Eye Doctor in Wilmington About Glaucoma

While glaucoma can be a worrisome eye health condition, proactive treatment can make a big difference in the effect on your visual capabilities. If you believe you are at high risk of glaucoma, reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, NC to schedule an appointment.

Clearing the Fog: Myths About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is widely recognized in optometry as the top cause of blindness, and this condition is common in the United States with more than three million sufferers. In order to better understand glaucoma as a major eye health condition, it is important that you are not misled by myths and misunderstandings.

Myth: Glaucoma only affects people of certain ethnic groups.

While it is true that glaucoma can be more prevalent among African Americans and Hispanic Americans, the condition can affect anyone. If you are of African or Hispanic ethnicity, it is a good idea to work closely with your eye doctor to monitor for problems, but everyone should discuss their individual risks with an eye doctor regardless of ethnicity.

Myth: Blindness caused by glaucoma can be reversed.

Even though there are treatments available that can potentially slow the progression of glaucoma, there is no cure, and, unfortunately, blindness related to glaucoma is not something that is reversible. This is why it is so critical to be vigilant about your eye health and regular eye exams if you believe you could be at risk.

Myth: You can’t get glaucoma if you don’t smoke.

It is no secret that people who smoke are at a heightened risk of glaucoma. However, it is a common myth that if you do not smoke or you are no around people who do smoke, you can’t get glaucoma. Even though smoking and glaucoma are obviously related, other factors contribute to the development of eye disease as well. A few other factors can include genetics, age, and even a history of taking certain types of medications. Therefore, you can be at risk of glaucoma development even if you have never been a smoker.

Schedule an Appointment with a Wilmington Eye doctor

Your vision means a lot to your quality of life, so anything that poses a threat cannot be ignored. Reach out to us at the Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, NC if you would like to talk more about your risks of developing glaucoma.