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Diabetic Retinopathy

Are you aware of the eye disease diabetic retinopathy? In America, in most cases, the main cause of blindness is Diabetic retinopathy. Though all diabetics will not develop the eye disease, but still you are at high risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. Your eye sight is at risk if diabetic retinopathy is not treated. Significant vision loss can be avoided if detected and treated at early stages. That is why dilated eye examination every year is very important for a diabetic patient.

Symptoms

There are really no real symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. You might be unconscious about the effect on your eyes which is caused due to diabetes. There may be

Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy

some following symptoms for the same:

  • Patients may complain of specks, spots or floaters.
  • Central vision may become blurred or go in and out of focus.
  • Patients may complain of streaks or blockage of vision if a large hemorrhage occurs inside the eye.
  • Others may notice difficulty seeing at night.

Causes

High blood sugar or uncontrolled diabetes is the main reason for the development of diabetic retinopathy. The blood sugar control is directly related to the severity of diabetic retinopathy. There is rich supply of blood vessels at the back of the eye: the retina which is a very light sensitive layer. These blood vessels become weak as the blood sugar level is increased. Each blood vessel contains blood and fluid. Due to weakness, the blood and fluid inside the blood vessels leak out into the retina. And the retina swells.

Due to this swelled retina and there is lack of nutrients and oxygen which results as vision loss and possibly blindness.

Diagnosis

To diagnose diabetic retinopathy, ICare doctors of Optometry recommends keeping routine eye exam to all diabetic patients. During an eye exam, an optometrist uses a special eye drop to dilate the pupils. This eye drop is specially designed to enlarge the pupils so that the entire retina, along with the optic nerve, macula and blood vessels, can be visualized.

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