What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels that transfer blood and oxygen to your retinas weaken or swell.  These changes result in minor leakages that cause new blood vessels to form and can deprive your eyes of the essential oxygen they need. This condition can even cause parts of the retina to die, resulting in total vision loss in extreme cases.

In the early stages there are no symptoms.  Unfortunately once diabetic retinopathy becomes more advanced it will cause noticeable changes to your vision, usually in one eye more than the other.  Testing for diabetic retinopathy should only be done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

If detected, treatment options include injections, laser therapy, and other types of retinal surgery. Keep in mind, early detection is key and will increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Attention to diet and lifestyle factors greatly reduces the risk of diabetic eye disease. We recommend things such as:

  • Staying on top of your blood sugar levels
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Scheduling a yearly eye exam with your optometrist