Diabetic Retinopathy

An ocular manifestation of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is the result of weakening blood vessels within the lining of the inner eye called the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Visual symptoms are usually rare in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, however, intermittent periods of generally blurred vision or blurry patches in the vision may be warning signs. Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include poorly controlled blood sugars, hypertension, smoking, and having diabetes for ten years or more. The longer a person has had diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Annual eye exams are recommended for all diabetic patients. At Northern Waters Ophthalmology, we use modern technology and examination techniques to detect retinal blood vessel problems and to monitor for changes from year to year. There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and the doctors can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels develop on the surface of the retina. Unchecked, both of these types of diabetic eye changes can threaten eyesight. Besides the gold standard of prevention by strict blood glucose control of diabetes, there are a number of successful treatments available if diabetic retinopathy is detected early. If you have diabetes and have not had a recent evaluation, please schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and be sure to include it on your patient history form. Watch the video to learn more:

Diabetic Retinopathy