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Diabetic Retinopathy

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Published on Nov 14, 2018

What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetic retinopathy happens when the small blood vessels in the retina are damaged due to blood glucose levels. In early stages, the walls of the retina weaken which allows blood and fluids to leak. Often, this can cause blurred vision in both eyes.

In the next phase, new blood vessels grow within the retina and can rupture and bleed. Scar tissue that forms can cause retinal detachment, a severe condition that requires urgent surgery.

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to another serious condition called diabetic macular edema (DME). With this condition, fluid leaks around the macula causing swelling and vision loss.

In addition to the above, those with diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma and cataracts.

Symptoms

Diabetic eye disease can have few or no symptoms in its early stages. This is why it is important to monitor one's vision with regular comprehensive eye exams. However, when the disease progresses symptoms can include:

Distorted or blurry vision
Loss of sharp vision
Sensitivity to light/glare
Balance issues
Seeing flashes or floaters
Poor night vision
Dark spots in vision
Vision loss
Seeing double

Prevention

Early intervention can protect the eyes and potentially save one's sight. It is recommended that those with diabetes receive a comprehensive dilated eye examination at least once per year- more often if with the presence of other eye conditions. Additionally, to help prevent diabetic eye disease, it is essential to control blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. Additionally, exercise, diet and stress reduction can help maintain eye health.

Untreated diabetic eye disease can lead to permanent vision loss. Acting early is critical. Community Eye Center has ophthalmologists and optometrists who provide comprehensive diabetic eye exams as well as retina specialists. Call today 941-625-1325 or book an appointment online today at communityeyecenter.com.

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