Diabetic Retinopathy is the medical term for the
most common diabetic eye problem.
Diabetic retinopathy is the
leading cause of blindness in American adults. It
damages the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive
nerve tissue in your eye that sends visual images to your
Blurred vision or temporary
blindness can occur when blood vessels weaken, bulge and leak fluid
into surrounding tissue, causing swelling - a condition called
macular edema. Abnormal new blood vessels may often, grow on the retina, where
they can bleed into the eye and block vision.
As the disease progresses, the retina can detach from the eye,
resulting in permanent blindness. Irreversible vision loss can
be prevented with early detection and treatment. This is just one of
the reasons it is so important to have your eyes checked on a
regular basis. In addition to testing your vision, we will look for any signs of eye disease.
Retinal damage happens slowly. Your retinas have tiny blood
vessels that are easy to damage. Having high blood glucose and high
blood pressure for a long time can damage these tiny blood vessels.
First, these tiny blood vessels swell and weaken. Some blood vessels
then become clogged and do not let enough blood through. At first,
you might not have any loss of sight from these changes. This is why
you need to have a comprehensive eye exam once a year even if your
sight seems fine.
As diabetic retinal problems get worse, new blood vessels may grow. These
new blood vessels are weak. They break easily and leak blood into
the vitreous of your eye. The leaking blood keeps light from
reaching the retina.
You may see floating spots or almost total darkness. Sometimes the
blood will clear out by itself, but you might need surgery to remove
Over the years, the swollen and weak blood vessels can form scar
tissue and pull the retina away from the back of the eye. If the
retina becomes detached, you may see floating spots or flashing
You may feel as if a curtain has been pulled over part of your
vision. A detached retina can cause loss of sight or
blindness if you don't take care of it right away.
Call us right away if you are having any vision problems or if you
have had a sudden change in your vision.