Diabetic Retinopathy

Can diabetes lead to issues with my eyes?

Be Eye Wise and know that having diabetes means your risk of minor eye conditions increases. Routine eye exams will help identify and keep those conditions minor. If an eye condition develops into a larger problem, your Northwest Eye doctor will help you understand available treatments for eye conditions related to diabetes and start them immediately.

Diabetic eye conditions we treat:

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. These blood vessels may swell and leak fluid (macular edema) or new abnormal blood vessels may grow on the surface of the retina (proliferative retinopathy). According to the National Eye Institute, diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and the leading cause of blindness in American adults.

The disease typically progresses in four stages:

Mild non-proliferative retinopathy causes small balloon-like swelling of the retinal blood vessels to occur.

Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy blocks the blood vessels that nourish the retina.

Severe non-proliferative retinopathy blocks more blood vessels, depriving areas of the retina of blood supply.

Proliferative retinopathy causes the body to develop new, but abnormal, blood vessels with thin walls.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can be:

In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy often has no symptoms, so it’s crucial to have regular vision screenings. As the disease progresses you may notice gradual blurring, have difficulty reading, experience spotty or hazy vision or have complete vision loss.

If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, contact us for an appointment. There is no other eye care provider more experienced or better equipped to treat advanced eye conditions than Northwest Eye.

Be Eye Wise and learn more about diabetic retinopathy treatment.

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The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is prevention, so it is important to manage your diabetes with proper diet and exercise. Even when diabetic retinopathy progresses, vision loss can be improved with laser surgery. If severe, we may recommend a procedure to remove blood from the center of the eye.

To learn all you can about diabetes and diabetes eye care, please schedule an appointment with a Northwest Eye doctor. Because the more you know, the better you see.