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Diabetic Eye Disease and Your Eyesight

The medical term for diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy, a potentially serious condition affecting the retina, the part of your eye responsible for sending light images to the optic nerve. In some people, diabetes may weaken blood vessels in the eyes, creating aneurysms that leak blood into the retina. Although your eyes replace damaged or dead blood vessels with new ones, the new blood vessels are not healthy and will leak blood as well. If diabetic eye disease is not treated by an optometrist, continued blood leakage in the eyes may cause irreversible damage to the retina and permanent loss of vision.

diabetic eye disease screening

Eye Exams Detect Diabetic Retinopathy

Receiving annual eye care services is essential for maintaining vision and eye health if you have diabetes. If your eye doctor diagnoses you with mild diabetic retinopathy, this means blood vessels in your retina have areas of swelling that interferes with normal blood flow. You may not yet experience periods of blurry vision but you may see eye floaters occasionally.  Floaters appear as tiny clouds, specks of dust or wispy threads in your field of vision. They usually fade away within a few seconds and seem more noticeable when you move your eyes quickly from one object to another.

If your eye exam detects moderate diabetic retinopathy, blockage of blood vessels in your eyes have increased and blood flow to the retina is further reduced. Symptoms of moderate diabetic eye disease include flashes of light (may indicate impending retinal detachment), blind or blank spots occurring anywhere in your vision field and reduced depth perception. Eye floaters may appear darker than those seen in mild diabetic retinopathy.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy involves extensive disruption of blood flow triggering rapid growth of new vessels in the eye's vitreous and retina. Since these vessels are extremely weak, they easily rupture and leak blood into the retina. Untreated hemorrhaging in the retina promotes development of scar tissue that pulls on the retina, a condition possibly leading to retinal detachment.

Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

Eye care services available to treat diabetic eye disease include photocoagulation (laser treatments) to seal leaky blood vessels, removing the vitreous gel if the retina is not damaged and injections of anti-inflammatory medicines called vascular endothelial growth factors to shrink newer, weaker blood vessels.

Schedule your appointment for a comprehensive eye examination today, by calling Visionary Eye Care at (813) 425-9596. Our staff is always available to answer questions you may have about diabetic eye disease, eye floaters, blurry vision and other symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. 

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Testimonials

“Absolutely the best in the area. Dr. Brady Cook and her staff are knowledgeable, helpful and professional. The office is beautiful, and their level of customer care cannot be beat! Plus, how often do you get to pet a cute bulldog during your appointment?”
― Danielle M.
“Wonderful staff and wonderful doctor in a beautiful location. I would recommend them to all. My little girls felt very at ease with all the staff. Thanks for a great experience in your office!”
― Vickie N.
“I have spent the better part of 40 years struggling with Amblyopia. For most of my adult life, doctor after doctor said that it was simply something I had to live with. That was, until I found Dr. Michael and Jennifer Cook. With diligence, professionalism and a passion for finding a solution, they were able to provide the answers that have changed my life. It is with the highest level of gratitude and confidence that I strongly recommend Visionary Eye Care. As doctors, they strive to deliver the highest level of care and a commitment to problem resolution where other providers prefer to follow the "status quo." Thank you for taking the time to "take on my case" and push back when I thought it was a lost cause. I am forever grateful to your cutting-edge approach. In addition, and of equal importance is your commitment to the health and wellbeing of our children. Our children absolutely love coming to see you and the Visionary Eye Care team. You spend time explaining all that is being done and put them at ease during the entire process. The Visionary team will forever be entrusted with the vision care of our family.”
― John Z.
“This office deserves more than a 5-star rating. Employees are friendly and professional, and Dr. Brady Cook is the best! They took me as a walk-in and treated me like family. Boscoe was very cool, too.”
― Marty S.
“Dr. Brady Cook and her staff are awesome. I have been a patient of hers for over six years. I am difficult to fit for contacts due to an astigmatism, and she always takes her time for me with this process. I highly recommend Visionary Eye to all!”
― Kimberly L.
"For the past 8 years, Dr. Brady Cook has been the only one to keep me seeing straight. I appreciate her attention to detail and high level of expertise. The office is a relaxing environment and the staff have been caring and helpful no matter how busy things are."
― Diego H.
"Easily the best optometry practice I've been to. It is conveniently located, and the office is very nice. The staff and doctors are friendly, helpful, and professional. Always a great experience, and I don't hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for an eye doctor. A++"
― Neil M.
"I love Visionary Eye Care, from the friendly voice answering the phone and the ease of scheduling an appointment. Beyond the aesthetics of the practice, the differences of the STELLAR services are evident from the pre-testing performed to the extensive time spent with the doctor to determine what's best for your eyes. Their eyewear selection is beyond compare. When you pick a pair of glasses, rest assured you'll be one of a kind. If you want the best, this is the place to go. They are also wonderful with children, especially those children who are Differently-Abled. Their Vision Therapy practice does wonders too!"
― Jennifer R.
"I have been going to Dr. Brady Cook for 10 years, and she is the only doctor that I trust with my vision needs! She and her staff are so professional and friendly that sometimes I forget I am even there for my eye exam. The office is so inviting and comfy—it almost feels like you are in someone’s home and not in an office. If you are lucky, her adorable bulldog will be in that day. She always has an awesome selection of glasses to pick from—traditional, classic, funky, colorful designs and the staff are right by your side helping you make this very important decision. If you are looking for the best in Tampa, look no further than Visionary Eye Care!"
― Shannon M.
"My family and I have been patients of Dr. Brady Cook's for many years. We value the expert eyecare that she and her staff provide (so much so that we drive from South Tampa to see her!). Visionary Eye Care has the latest in optometry technology. Their offices are beautifully decorated and offer many comforts for patients. If you are looking for a trusted professional to address your family's vision needs, look no further than Visionary Eye Care."
― Sean D.
"I have been seeing Dr. Brady Cook for 4 years. She is very thorough, and her equipment is all topnotch. I always feel that I have a personalized experience, with everything explained step by step. The staff is great at helping me pick new glasses. I could not ask for better."
― Lisa H.
"Dr. Brady Cook and her staff are awesome. I truly enjoy coming into the office every time for an appointment. They make you feel welcome and the selection of frames is awesome!"
― Michelle L.
"As soon as I walked in the door I realized I wasn't seeing your typical optometrist. I was checked in immediately, offered a beverage and one of the massage chairs. I chose to visit with the bulldog. The state-of-the-art equipment was impressive. Dr. Brady Cook was funny, straightforward and provided the most thorough eye exam I've ever had. Not only did she take the time to address every question, she offered suggestions and options. Choosing my glasses was another highlight of the visit. Options I didn't know were available for lenses were explained. I highly recommend Visionary Eye Care It was truly a unique and pleasant experience."
― Donna L.
"Visionary is fabulous! Beautiful office, personal service and nice perks like massage chairs and beverages. Dr. Brady Cook is knowledgeable, friendly, down to earth and highly competent (not to mention hilarious!). She took a lot of time to address my concerns and try different approaches to my tricky prescription, which was incredibly appreciated. I highly, highly recommend Visionary Eye Care!"
― Jenny M.
"If you are looking for an optometrist, go to Dr. Brady Cook. She is fantastic, knowledgeable, competent, thorough and down to earth. Great staff, up-to-date technology, fabulous selection of glasses, and all in a truly beautiful setting. Seriously, the office is gorgeous! It looks more like a spa or art gallery than an eye doctor. Highly recommend.
― C-Mac W."
"Is it weird that I really enjoy going to see the eye doctor!? I have been seeing Dr. Brady Cook for as long as I can remember, and she always spends a lot of time answering my questions and giving me a very comprehensive exam. They have the best and latest technology, a great assortment of products, and the friendliest staff (even the 4-legged ones)!
― Nicole M."
"First time going into Visionary Eye Care and walking in I felt so welcomed by the lovely staff and Boscoe (English Bulldog)! I walked in and was already being attended and ready to start my appointment. Later I met Dr. Brady Cook, and she helped explain the answers to all the questions I had for her. Later, I had the chance to choose from a wide selection of frames and chose the one I loved and that I enjoy wearing every day! Highly recommend stopping by and trying their service!!!"
― Luke J.
"I take my mother (81) to see Dr. Brady Cook. They are always so patient with her. I would recommend this office highly!"
― Kelly B.
"After moving back to Tampa, I needed to find an optometrist that was people friendly, knowledgeable and caring. After researching I decided on Dr. Brady-Cook at Visionary Eye Care. Home Run! Totally exceeded my expectations in every category. I learned more than the doctors up north could tell me in ten years. I finally have hope. I may have lost vision without this visit, plus I finally have an explanation for my pain and discomfort. The explanation alone gives me more peace of mind than I could ever tell. Compliments to the staff also. As soon as you walk in the door you will feel welcome. Welcome combined with high tech equipment, highly skilled doctors and a caring staff knocks this place out of the park. I highly recommend Visionary Eye Care."
― Joyce B.
"I have been a patient of Dr. Brady Cook for many years. I have nothing but positive praise for her, Dr. Cook and her wonderful staff. Now that I have my two girls, I have trusted her with their eyes since they could start reading an eye chart! We all give two thumbs up - trust me you won’t be disappointed! Much better quality than any cookie-cutter eyeglass place!!"
― Jandi P.
"I have been a patient of Dr. Brady Cook and her outstanding professional team for many years. Today, after my visit, I decided that it was time to write this review, not only to let everyone be aware of this outstanding optical business, but to thank them for working so hard for their patients. Kim personally spent no less than 90 minutes working with me to select two pair of glasses. In today's world, this type of professional customer service is UNHEARD of! So, A great big thank you to everybody at Visionary Eye Care! And, where else can you go and get love from a charming bulldog??"
― Dianne P.
"I've been a client here for just over a year and I can't say enough good things about the place!
Atmosphere: Elegant, inviting, clean and comfortable. Nice squishy chairs to sit in while you wait (though I've never had to wait long). There might be a bulldog or two walking or lying nearby, and they're the cutest things ever!
Staff: Exceptional people here. Always friendly and smiling when you walk in the door, they seem genuinely happy to be there. I'm always offered a beverage and made to feel comfortable. They've also gone above and beyond to help me get lenses at prices I can afford."
― C.M.
"Equipment: Everything is computerized and state-of-the-art. They pulled my entire history up on the computer within minutes of my first visit! I love that they save paper by having clients sign a laminated form that they can wipe off and use again. There is a machine that eliminates the need to use dilation drops (for a fee). The newest technologies make the experience much more pleasant.
Doctors: Dr. Brady Cook is wonderful and very down-to-earth. She'll tell it like it is, but she always has my best interest at heart. She's incredibly knowledgeable and friendly.
I highly recommend this place. I've never loved going to the eye doctor more!"
― C.M.

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