Diabetic Eye Disease (Diabetic Retinopathy)
Diabetic eye disease, or diabetic retinopathy, is a leading cause of blindness in adults and is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina (a light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye necessary for good vision). In some cases, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid and in others abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
- Can’t be cured, but treatment may help
- Requires a medical diagnosis to be officialy found
- Lab tests or imaging always required for diagnosis
- Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
- Just because you have diabetes does not mean you have diabetic retinopathy, however, you are at a higher risk for it
- Early symptoms include floaters, blurriness, dark areas of vision, and difficulty perceiving colors.
- Blindness can occur.
- If you have diabetes, make sure you get a dilated eye examination at least once a year.
- By taking good care of yourself through diet, exercise, and special medications, you can control diabetes.
- Treatments include diet and exercise, and insulin shots.