Diabetic Retinopathy

What is diabetic eye disease?


People with diabetes are subject to many healthcare disorders that those without generally do not have to think twice about. One such disorder is diabetic retinopathy. Eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy are not uncommon amongst individuals with diabetes. If not treated properly and in a timely fashion, these issues can lead to severe vision loss and even blindness. For this reason, it is crucial for diabetics to work with a team of eye doctors and surgeons who can diagnose eye disorders before they become serious, and take measures to prevent further damage.

Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder that affects the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive disease and has four stages:

  • Mild Non-Proliferative Retinopathy: During this stage, the patient will experience minor swelling in small, localized regions of the retina.
  • Moderate Non-Proliferative Retinopathy: The blood vessels in the retina become clogged.
  • Severe Non-Proliferative Retinopathy: The retina becomes malnourished because of the blockage. The brain receives a signal from the retina regarding the lack of nutrients, at which point it signals the creation of new blood vessels at the surface of the retina.
  • Proliferative Retinopathy: The newly formed blood vessels are fragile and prone to leaks, which can cause significant vision loss or blindness.

Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

Other than progressive vision loss, diabetic retinopathy presents no obvious symptoms. If an ophthalmologist or optometrist detects the condition while it's still in its early stages, he or she can provide advice on how to prevent further damage. If the disease has progressed to stage four, the doctor may recommend laser treatment to shrink the blood vessels and preserve what is left of the patient's vision.

Contact Our Office Today

If you have diabetes and suspect that you have diabetic retinopathy, or if you simply want to take measures to prevent diabetic retinopathy, contact the Brass Eye Center. Call (518) 782-7827 or request an appointment online today.

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