Diabetic Retinopathy

About Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye condition caused by diabetes. In diabetes, high sugar levels can damage the retina by slowly weakening blood vessels in the eye. At first, this causes no symptoms. However, without treatment, it can cause blindness.

Diabetic Retinopathy can take years to cause blindness. In the early stages, it is treatable. If you are a diabetic, visit your eye doctor every year. Early detection is very important and can save your eyesight!


Diabetic Retinopathy & Vision Loss

There are two main causes of vision loss in Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic Macular Edema:

When the retina’s blood vessels are too weak, fluid can leak through their walls. This fluid builds up in the retina, causing swelling. In turn, this swelling may cause some vision loss.

Macular Edema

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy:

New abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina. These vessels are weak, so they can rupture and bleed into the surrounding fluid. This causes sudden vision loss.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Risk Factors:

Anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes is at risk for Diabetic Retinopathy.

Your risk is greater if you:

  • Have high blood sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol
  • Are pregnant

In some cases, people with good blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol may still develop Diabetic Retinopathy. To be safe, all diabetics should regularly see an eye doctor for screening.

Key Points to Remember:

  1. Diabetics are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop eye problems.
  2. If you are diabetic, visit your doctor and get screened every year.
  3. Early detection and proper treatment significantly reduces your risk of vision loss.

In the early stages, there are no noticeable symptoms. The only way to detect the condition is for Diabetics to have regular eye screening.

At later stages, you may have:

  • Gradual vision loss
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain or redness

If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your eye doctor immediately. It may not be Diabetic Retinopathy, but it is important to get a check-up done.

Remember: the earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat! Regular eye screenings will keep your eyes healthy and safe!

When to See a Doctor:

All diabetics should get screened by an eye doctor once a year. If you notice any changes in your vision, schedule an eye checkup as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your next screening.

The three treatments are:

  1. Vitrectomy Surgery
  2. Laser Treatment
  3. Intravitreal Injections