If you have diabetes, there’s an eye disease you need to know about. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults today. This disease is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some cases, the blood vessels may swell and leak fluid into the eye, causing blocked vision, vision loss and even blindness.
What are the warning signs?
In many cases, the early stages of diabetic retinopathy yield no real symptoms. In fact,
people with this disease may not realize any vision loss until the disease is in its advanced
stages. And, since there is usually no pain associated, diabetic retinopathy can progress a
long way before being detected.
How is it detected?
Persons with diabetes should have a thorough eye examination at least once a year. As part of the exam, your eyes should be dilated to allow an eye care professional to see more of the inside.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk. Research indicates that nearly half of all diabetics develop some degree of this disease during their lifetime.
Can diabetic retinopathy be treated?
Laser surgery can now reduce the abnormal blood vessels on the retina, reducing the risk of severe vision loss by up to 90 percent. Laser surgery can also be used to “seal” the leaking block vessels caused by the disease.
Can it be prevented?
Unfortunately, anyone with diabetes can not prevent this disease 100%. But, studies show that better control of your blood sugar level can slow the onset and progression of this disease later on in life.
If you or someone you know has diabetes and has questions about diabetic retinopathy or any other eye disease, please call Infinite Eye Care at 320-257-4990. We are care about the health of your eyes!