What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

The Correlation Between Diabetes And Eye Health

Posted February 15, 2022


Did you know there is a correlation between diabetes and eye health? Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, like vision loss or blindness. This is called Diabetic Retinopathy.


What causes diabetic retinopathy?


Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye is damaged. This condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop it. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness in working-age U.S. adults.


What are the symptoms? 


There are several symptoms someone with this condition may experience. These include spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters), blurred vision, fluctuating vision, dark or empty areas in your vision, and lastly vision loss. However, there are four stages to this condition, and you may not experience these symptoms in the first stage.


When should you see a doctor?


The best way to prevent vision loss is careful management of your diabetes. If you have diabetes, seeing your doctor annually is a good idea, even if your vision seems just fine. You should contact your doctor immediately if your vision changes suddenly, or if it becomes blurry, spotty, or hazy. While there is no cure to diabetic retinopathy, it can be managed with the proper help. Overall, regular eye exams and good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, can help prevent severe vision loss.


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