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Risk Factors that Contribute to Diabetic Retinopathy

There are multiple risk factors that contribute to diabetic retinopathy – Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Allow us to explain these risk factors, how you can avoid them, and how an eye doctor will test for diabetic retinopathy.

Risk Factor: Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes, as it is commonly found in young children or during adolescence. It occurs when the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Young children may not be able to express or understand that something is wrong within their body, so it’s important to watch for signs of Type 1 diabetes, such as:

  • Bedwetting
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive thirst & hunger
  • Lack of energy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Sweating

Type 1 diabetes can be controlled with exercise and insulin therapy. If your child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, make an appointment with an eye doctor to determine if diabetic retinopathy is present.

Risk Factor: Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1 diabetes, contributing to 90% of all diabetic diagnoses. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, your body does make insulin, but it does not use it effectively. Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive thirst & hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Prolonged wound healing
  • Weight gain or loss

Type 2 diabetes can be controlled in various ways – medication, insulin therapy, regular exercise, and a healthy diet. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, call us immediately to be screened for diabetic retinopathy: 478-744-1710

Risk Factor: Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman has very high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This can often cause health issues for both the mother and baby. It is often diagnosed through a glucose test at an OBGYN appointment during the mother’s second trimester. Often, the diabetes will go away after the baby is born, but it must be managed until the pregnancy is complete.

How to Avoid a Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis

Diabetic retinopathy is directly related to high blood sugar levels, as high blood sugar will damage your eye’s blood vessels. To avoid a diabetic retinopathy diagnosis, you must avoid the factors that contribute to diabetes. We encourage you to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.

How to Test for Diabetic Retinopathy

The only way to test for diabetic retinopathy is to have an experienced eye doctor dilate your eyes and check the back of your eyes and surrounding blood vessels. If your eye doctor gives you a diabetic retinopathy diagnosis, he or she can also discuss treatment options. Depending on the severity of your case, you may be able to stop the progression of the disease via medication or surgery.

Schedule an Appointment with Vision Eye Group

Our compassionate doctors understand that health issues can be overwhelming, especially when they start to affect other parts of your body. We’re here to help! Our team will determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy and discuss what can be done to protect your eye health.