What is it?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can occur in people with diabetes. It is a serious condition that can lead to loss of sight. If it is not treated, it can eventually lead to blindness. It typically affects both eyes at once as someone continues to suffer from diabetes.

How does it happen?

For diabetics, having too much sugar in their blood can damage many parts of the body, including the circulatory system. The loss of sight associated with diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels attached to the retina. The blood vessels may swell and leak fluid, which leaves the retina malnourished.

What are the symptoms?

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there are usually few symptoms, if any at all. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing spots/floaters
  • Having difficulty seeing at night
  • Having a dark spot (or empty spot) in the middle of your vision
  • Vision loss

What are my risk factors?

The longer you have diabetes, the more you are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. Other factors may affect the onset of this condition in diabetics, including:

  • Poor control of blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Tobacco use
  • Pregnancy

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diabetic retinopathy is most commonly diagnosed through a dilated eye exam.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy will depend on the severity of the condition. Treatments may need to include laser procedures or eye surgery in more extreme cases.

How can I prevent it from happening?

If you have diabetes, you can prevent diabetic retinopathy or delay its onset by maintaining good health. This includes keeping your blood sugar in check, exercising regularly, and not smoking.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms to diabetic retinopathy, contact us today.