If you have diabetes, you know it is a devastating disease. It can affect your body in many ways…and it can affect your vision and your eyes.
Did you know that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at an earlier age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics?
Did you know that the primary vision problem caused by diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness and low vision in adults?
- Retinopathy is the term used to describe damage to the retina, the thin, light-sensitive tissue that lines the inside surface of the eye.
- Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels that nourish tissue and nerve cells in the retina are damaged. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow fast, or proliferate, in the retina. That condition is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy and affects about one in twenty people with the disease.
Diabetic retinopathy typically progresses in stages:
- Mild non-proliferative retinopathy: This is where small areas of balloon-like swellings occur in the tiny blood vessels in the retina.
- Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy: This occurs when some of the blood vessels that nourish the retina become blocked.
- Severe non-proliferative retinopathy: Many more blood vessels become blocked, which disrupts the blood supply nourishing the retina.
- Proliferative retinopathy: This occurs when signals sent by the retina trigger the development of new blood vessels in the retina and the vitreous, the transparent gel that fills the interior of the eye. Because these new blood vessels are abnormal, they can rupture and bleed, causing hemorrhaging. Scar tissue can develop, tug at the retina and may cause retinal detachment.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include blurred or double vision; a cloud, veil or streaks of red in your field of vision; blind or blank spots in your field of vision; flashing lights, which may indicate a retinal detachment.
If you have diabetes and think your vision may be suffering from it’s effects, don’t wait. Call to book an appointment, today: (888) 295-0841.