Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can lead to vision loss and blindness if not managed or treated properly. However, the CDC estimates that roughly 90% of vision loss due to diabetes is preventable. Therefore, eye exams resulting in early detection of diabetic retinopathy is vital! Discover frequently asked questions about diabetic retinopathy:
What causes diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damaged blood vessels in the retina. This damage is linked to high blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels in your eyes may swell, leak, or blood flow may halt altogether.
What are the risk factors?
The main risk factor of developing diabetic retinopathy is suffering from diabetes. There are three types of diabetes that can cause diabetic retinopathy to form:
- Type 1 Diabetes – occurs when the body produces little or no insulin; often found in children or adolescents
- Type 2 Diabetes – occurs when the body does not use the insulin it creates effectively; often found in adults and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetic diagnoses
- Gestational Diabetes – occurs when the body has high blood glucose during pregnancy; may go away after birth
Are there ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy?
To prevent diabetic retinopathy from occurring, it’s vital to manage your blood sugar levels. Keeping them as close to normal as possible can protect those blood vessels and ultimately keep your eyes healthy, too. We encourage you to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and take your diabetes medicine as instructed by your doctor.
Are there treatment options if I am diagnosed?
To determine if you have diabetic retinopathy, your Vision Eye Group doctor will dilate your eye to view the back of your retina and surrounding blood vessels. If you are diagnosed with this disease, our team will talk to you about which treatment option is best for you – medication or surgery.
The Vision Eye Group Doctors Can Help!
Our team has extensive experience helping people who suffer from diabetic retinopathy. If you are experiencing symptoms such as blurry vision, floaters, poor night vision, or dull colors, give us a call right away. Although we cannot restore lost vision, we can act quickly to stop vision loss from progressing.