An ocular manifestation of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is the result of weakening on the blood vessels within the lining of the inner eye called the retina and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.
Vision symptoms are usually rare in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, however, intermittent blur and seeing spots in the vision can be warning signs. Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include, poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and being diabetic for ten years or more. Typically affecting patients who have had diabetes for ten years or more, the longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Annual eye exams are strongly recommended for all diabetic patients. At St. Peter Eyecare Center, we use retinal photography methods to detect retinal blood vessel problems and to monitor changes from exam to exam. There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and Dr. Blake Dirks, Dr. Zach Dirks, or Dr. Vonnie Nelson can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Watch the video to learn more. If you have diabetes and are concerned about diabetic retinopathy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blake Dirks, Dr. Zach Dirks, or Dr. Vonnie Nelson for a comprehensive eye exam and be sure to include it on your patient history form.
It is an ocular manifestation of diabetes, a systemic disease, which affects up to 80 percent of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Despite these intimidating statistics, research indicates that at least 90% of new cases could be reduced by preventative monitoring during regular eye examinations and proper treatment.
There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only your doctor can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, many do not notice a change to their vision because there are little to no symptoms. If an eye doctor does not catch diabetic retinopathy early, one could sustain mild blurriness at near or in the distance, as well as floaters. In severe cases a sudden loss of vision may occur.
Unfortunately, Diabetic Retinopathy can result in permanent damage that cannot be reversed. However, if caught in time, prescribed treatments may slow development and prevent vision loss.
Concerned about the onset of diabetic retinopathy? Call and schedule a preventative eye examination today.