Diabetes Can Lead to Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or is not able to use the insulin effectively. As a result, the glucose in the blood (often called blood sugar) becomes too high.  The disease can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes which causes progressive damage to the retina.  It occurs when blood vessels, that have been damaged due to diabetes, leak blood and other fluids, causing the retinal tissue to swell, and results in cloudy or blurred vision.  If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.

Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include the following:

  • Seeing spots or floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
  • Difficulty seeing well at night

In the early stages of the disease, symptoms may be very mild or even go unnoticed.  As it progresses into more advanced forms, the symptoms will get progressively worse.  Early detection can greatly reduce the chance of vision loss due to this disease, and therefore regular comprehensive eye exams are extremely important for anyone with diabetes.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by your eye care professional, like Family Vision Development Center, through a comprehensive eye exam.  Dr. Martin will complete a patient history and will perform the proper testing to evaluate the macula and retina in order to determine the presence of the disease.

Treatment will vary depending on the extent of the disease.  Possible options may include medication injections to decrease inflammation or laser surgery to seal leaking blood vessels.  Again, early detection can significantly reduce the treatment needed to control the progression of the disease.  Call Family Vision at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment for your eye exam or use our convenient online appointment request form.

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