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What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

It’s very likely, that you or someone you know has diabetes, as according to the CDC more than 1 in 3 people in the United States are prediabetic. Unfortunately having diabetes puts you at greater risk of developing further complications in your vascular system. One of these complications is diabetic retinopathy. So, what is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging blood vessels of the retina and nerve tissue, which affects those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Over time, this can lead to blindness so it is highly advised to get your eyes examined regularly if you are at risk.

There are stages of diabetic retinopathy that indicate how advanced the diabetic retinopathy is when you can develop either proliferative diabetic retinopathy or non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy in the early stages can lead to leakage of fluid in the retina, bleeding inside the eye, and in the late stages, can result in permanent vision loss. Therefore, if you have diabetes or are prediabetic, we suggest controlling your blood sugar levels and monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol in order to reduce your chances of developing or progressing to proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

If you are diabetic and wondering, what is diabetic retinopathy, then you should probably know some symptoms to look out for. Although symptoms are not always present, if you do have any they will usually affect both eyes. Some things you can look out for are any change in vision such as vision getting blurry, noticing dark spots, floaters, poor night vision, or any eye pain/redness. It’s not always possible to prevent, but following your doctor's suggested diabetic plan and getting your eyes checked regularly are two things that can help tremendously when monitoring the health of your retina.

If you are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, please schedule a visit with Dr. El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-222-6626 to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.

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