WHAT IS IT?
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. The disease progresses slowly, damaging the tiny blood vessels in the retina. At first, you might not have any loss of sight from these changes. That is why you need to have a comprehensive eye exam once a year, even if your sight seems fine.
Over time, the swollen and weak blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of the eye. If the retina becomes detached, you may see floating spots or flashing lights. You may also feel as if a curtain has been pulled over part of your vision.
WHY DOES IT OCCUR?
Having high blood glucose and high blood pressure for a long time can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina. Blurred vision or temporary blindness can occur when blood vessels weaken, bulge and leak fluid into surrounding tissue, causing swelling - a condition called macular edema. Abnormal new blood vessels may often, grow on the retina, where they can bleed into the eye and block vision.
As the disease progresses, the retina can detach from the eye, resulting in permanent blindness. Irreversible vision loss can be prevented with early detection and treatment. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis; in addition to testing your vision, we will look for any signs of eye disease.
HOW COMMON IS IT?
Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye problem.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
A detached retina can cause loss of sight or blindness if you don't take care of it right away, so call us right away if you are having any vision problems or if you have had a sudden change in your vision.