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What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eye. Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss and blindness by affecting the blood vessels in the retina, the thin layer at the back inside of the eye that receives light, encodes it, and transmits it to the brain.  If you have diabetes, an annual comprehensive eye exam at least once a year is crucial in identifying potential early signs of diabetic retinopathy. The condition does not always present symptoms in the early stages and to protect your vision, early detection is key.

Diabetic Retinopathy Infographic

Am I at Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Any kind of diabetes (type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes) can put you at risk for diabetic retinopathy. 

Diabetes can put you at risk of diabetic retinopathy

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Between 80 to 85 percent of diabetics will develop some degree of retinopathy during their lifetime.

The early stages of diabetic retinopathy typically do not present symptoms but some people have reported noticing early changes in their vision like difficulty reading or distance vision. In later stages of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels in the retina begin to bleed into the gel-like fluid that fills the eye. That can cause floating dark spots that look similar to cobwebs. Sometimes these can clear up on their own but it is still important to seek treatment right away because if they are left untreated, they can cause scars to form in the back of the eye.

Rottman Eye Care has the latest diagnostic equipment and provides a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Regular eye exams with your doctor, managing your diabetes, and timely treatment can significantly reduce the risk of vision loss and blindness.

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