Diabetes mellitus is a condition which impairs the body’s ability to use and store sugar. Diabetes can cause serious changes in the blood vessels throughout the body, including the eye. It can start without symptoms and it can get worse over time. All diabetics should keep their blood sugar under control, learn about your eyes, have eye exams regularly, and follow their doctor’s treatment plan.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the eye complications that diabetics can have. If you have diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels in the eye go through a series of changes. The blood vessels can leak, close or bleed causing loss of vision. Swelling of the retina, bleeding in the vitreous jelly, and retinal detachment can also occur and cause loss of vision. Blurred vision can be a symptom of diabetic retinopathy, but sometimes patient have no symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. Diagnosing diabetic retinopathy is typically done with a dilated eye examination by your eye doctor.
Treating Diabetic Retinopathy
Treatment of diabetic retinopathy can include laser surgery. The laser spots reduce abnormal blood vessel growth and help attach the retina to the back of the eye. Some patients may end up needing surgery. This treatment is used for bleeding into the vitreous or retinal detachments. If you are diabetic the best way to protect your eyesight from diabetic retinopathy is to detect the disease early on. Even when patients are asymptomatic, you should have eye examinations by your eye doctor once a year. Once you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy your follow up exams might be more frequent.