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Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Eye Concepts

Eye Concepts provides expert advice on diabetic retinopathy. Learn about the causes, symptoms & the treatments that we offer. Book an assessment today.


Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition which occurs as a result of diabetes. Diabetes is a very common disease and a lot of people with diabetes experience eye problems and some may lose their vision if left untreated. A diabetic is 20 times more likely to lose their vision than compared to the average person and so it’s important to be aware of the signs and preventions.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common of the diabetic eye problems and is the leading cause of blindness in people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a term used to describe retinal damage caused by diabetes. This retinal damage occurs through changes in the blood vessels of the retina.

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

The retina is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. As light enters the eye and through the lens, it lands on the retina. This then turns the light into signals which are then transmitted to the brain for interpretation. Blood vessels help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the retina in order for it to function properly. Diabetes damages these blood vessels, and therefore prevents the retina from doing its job. A healthy retina is necessary for healthy, clear eye vision.

There are different diabetic retinopathy stages, background diabetic retinopathy is the term used for the early stages of this diabetic eye problem. With uncontrolled diabetes, diabetic retinopathy can get worsen, the next stage is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy happens when blood vessels of the retina start to swell and leak fluid or blood. Fluid leaks can then lead to something called diabetic maculopathy. This will cause extreme difficulties in vision.

What are diabetic retinopathy symptoms?

At first, diabetic retinopathy may not cause any changes in vision, but over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse. A person may begin to see dark spots floating in their vision or may notice things are becoming blurry. Without diagnosis and treatment, diabetic retinopathy can cause loss of vision and may even lead to blindness. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of blindness.

What is best diabetic retinopathy treatment?

Treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy reduces the risk of sight-loss, especially when given before your vision has become noticeably affected.  

There are various different methods of treatment for diabetic eye problems such as proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatment burns your peripheral retina to preserve the central vision. You could also receive injections that will stop the eye fluid leaking in to the retina and damaging it.

Controlling your blood sugar levels is essential, if your blood sugar levels are not balanced, this will start to cause damage to your blood vessels. You must also ensure you have balanced levels of fat and cholesterol in your body to ensure your arteries are protected. This includes keeping a regular check on your blood pressure.

Smoking is a big problem for diabetic retinopathy. If you are diabetic, it is highly advised to stop smoking. It is well known that smoking causes endless problems to the human body, for those who have health issues that are already known, in this instance any kind of diabetic eye problems, it is a very dangerous to continue smoking if you wish to preserve your eyesight and your overall health and wellness.

Book online at your local Eye Concepts Optometrist if you want to find out more.