If you suffer from diabetes, you might also be at risk for a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which causes vision impairment and loss due to damage done to the retina. The blood vessels that supply blood to the retina are damaged due to diabetes, and begin to leak, both blood and other fluids. This leakage causes the retina to swell, which in turn results in blurry or cloudy vision.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

The longer that diabetic retinopathy is left untreated, the more likely it is that the condition can cause total blindness. That is why it is very important to see your eye doctor in Canton right away if you experience any of the following symptoms and you have diabetes: floating spots in your vision, blurry vision, loss of nighttime vision, or a dark or “empty” spot in the center of your field of vision.

The earliest stages of diabetic retinopathy do not often include any symptoms that can be seen; however, the disease can be diagnosed even before the symptoms occur. Keeping up with your yearly eye exams can help ensure that any issues are caught before they progress too far.

Prevent or Reduce Your Risk

If you have diabetes, are black or Hispanic, have high blood pressure, or are pregnant, your chances of developing diabetic retinopathy are higher than others. There are several types of treatments options that can be explored, but the best treatment is avoidance. Be sure that you reduce your risk by taking your medications on schedule, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, controlling diabetes or high blood pressure, and staying away from tobacco or alcohol.

The most common treatment is laser surgery, which can be used to help stop leakage, or to shrink problematic blood vessels in the retina. Medical injections, orally administered medications, and corticosteroids, are other common treatments for diabetic retinopathy. If the condition has advanced very far, your doctor may recommend a vitrectomy, which is a surgery that removes some of the gel from the center of the eye. This can help stop the bleeding in the retina.

Learn More about Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments

To learn more about diabetic retinopathy at our Canton, OH office on Mercy Drive Northwest, or to discuss possible treatments, you can call us at (330) 489-1441, or get in touch any time through our website here. Our staff at Fladen Eye Center can help you find the right information, or help you make an appointment to meet with us in person.