Know Your Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy

diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is the main cause of adult blindness in the United States as well as the most prevalent consequence of diabetes that affects the eyes. The retina, situated in the back of the eye, is responsible for detecting and transmitting visual images to the brain. When left untreated, diabetes may eventually lead to damage to the retina’s blood vessels. As a result, the retinal tissue swells, leading to impaired vision or complete vision loss.

The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is early diagnosis, which includes knowing your risk factors and how to recognize the signs of this condition.

Risk Factors for Diabetic Retinopathy

It’s important to note that more complications may arise from diabetes with time, such as diabetic retinopathy. This condition can occur in people with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes (pregnancy-related diabetes). Additional risk factors include:

  • Elevated glucose levels in the blood
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy

African-Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Native Americans or Alaska Natives may also be disproportionately affected by this issue.

Warning Symptoms

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are uncommon in its early stages. Some individuals begin to see changes in their vision, such as having difficulty reading or seeing things that are at a distance.

In advanced stages of the illness, bleeding from the retinal blood vessels occurs in the vitreous, also known as the vitreous body, which is the gel-like fluid that fills the eye. As a result, you might notice cobweb-like black patches or streaks floating in your vision. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain or pressure in either or both eyes
  • Irregular, blocked, blurred, or fluctuating vision
  • Gaps or dark spots in your vision
  • Problems with peripheral vision
  • Loss of sight

Find Eye Care for Diabetic Retinopathy in Stockton, CA

If you are experiencing any symptoms related to diabetic retinopathy or any other diabetic eye disease, visit Central Valley Eye Medical Group for a comprehensive eye exam. Depending on your specific condition, minimally invasive and surgical treatment options are available, such as anti-VEGF injection therapy, scatter laser treatment, and vitrectomy. To schedule an appointment, contact (209) 952-3700 today.

Posted in: Diabetic Eye Care


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