Diabetic eye disease is the number one cause of blindness in working adults in the United States. High blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina. This can lead to leaking of blood vessels and swelling of the retina, loss of blood flow to the retina, or growth of abnormal blood vessels that can bleed or cause retinal detachment. Each of these problems can lead to significant vision loss.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Many people with early diabetic retinopathy have no noticeable vision changes. Sometime eye treatments are needed to halt the disease, even when you are not noticing vision problems. This is why regular eye exams for diabetics are important. You should have your eyes examined promptly if you notice:
- Blurriness, especially if it lasts more than a few days
- New floaters or blind spots in your vision
Treatment Options for Diabetic Retinopathy
- Laser surgery
- Eye injections (not as uncomfortable as it sounds)
- Eye surgery in the operating room
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Overview
General diabetic care and detection of eye disease is key. Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol with you primary care provider is important in managing your eye disease. Regular eye exams, including retinal examination, are important to detect eye disease that would benefit from ocular treatment.