What is the first sign of diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetes is more than just a blood problem. It can affect every area of your body and is one of the top causes of blindness in the United States. In our experience, many Americans are walking around unaware that they have diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy can affect your vision profoundly. If you’re not on top of it, you can lose vision quickly.

Diabetic retinopathy

When diabetes gets bad, blood vessels block up and scar tissue builds up. More specifically, diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye.

This retinal issue results from poorly controlled blood sugar over a period of time. Careful diabetes management may be sufficient treatment for mild cases. More advanced cases may require laser treatment, injections, or even surgery.

Discovering diabetic retinopathy problems

If you have diabetes, it’s essential to watch for early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Early symptoms include:

  • Fluctuation in vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Dark areas of vision
  • Difficulty receiving color (due to early cataracts)

Often we are the first to diagnose patients with diabetes as a result of the retinal scans we perform in our office. You may have “dot and blot” hemorrhages in your retina that cause dark spots. Those can be a complication of elevated blood sugar.

Remember, diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. It is an issue directly related to elevated blood sugar and requires medical intervention.

If you see dark spots, blurry areas, or just need your eyes checked, contact us. We can give you the diagnosis you need to help make things right.