What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the more common conditions that affect diabetics. It's actually one of the leading cause of blindness in adults in the U.S. This diabetes-related complication is likely to be caused by damaged blood vessels that supply the retina with oxygen and nutrients. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients are at risk of developing this medical condition. In fact, the longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he or she will develop diabetic retinopathy. In the beginning, diabetic retinopathy often exhibits only mild vision issues or no symptoms at all, but eventually can result in total blindness. Early warning signs may include poor night vision, blurred vision, red film, floating spots, or dark streaks. A dilated eye examination can best diagnose this condition.
This particular condition causes damage to the retina, which is the portion of the eye consisting of nerves. It's the part of the eye that receives light and transfers images to the brain. Two main types of diabetic retinopathy exist: nonproliferative retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy. With nonproliferative retinopathy, the small vessels in the back of the eye begins to swell. They then form pouches and eventually rob the retina of its blood supply. On the other hand, proliferative retinopathy causes new blood vessels to grow, which prevents the retina from getting enough blood. The new vessels are weak, and it's possible for blood to leak from them. This condition causes floaters, blurred vision, black spots in your field of vision, and a loss of your central vision.
To schedule your next eye exam to have your vision tested and to check for signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, contact us today.