If you suffer from diabetes, you could be at risk for diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to blood vessels in the retina, which can swell and leak. Diabetic retinopathy comes with a range of symptoms, and if left untreated, it can cause blindness.
Managing diabetes and noticing early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy is one of the most effective ways to prevent the disease. However, treatment is possible.
Diabetic retinopathy symptoms
Most of the time, diabetic retinopathy’s symptoms don’t appear in the early stages. Symptoms become more noticeable when the condition is more advanced. It can also affect both eyes, not just one. Here are a few symptoms of the disease:
- Blurred vision
- Impaired color vision
- Transparent spots in vision
- Dark patches or streaks in vision
- Poor night vision
- Sudden total loss of vision
Diabetic retinopathy treatment
Various, severe complications can occur if diabetic retinopathy is left untreated. In some cases, it can lead to a detached retina, which can happen if scar tissue pulls the retina away from the back of the eye. You also become at risk for nerve damage and vision loss.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In some cases, you may need a comprehensive dilated eye exam every 2-4 months. However, having control of your diabetes and having good blood sugar can slow the development of diabetics retinopathy. If the disease is advanced, surgical treatment will most likely be required.
A few treatment options include:
- Laser treatment
- Eye injections
- Eye surgery
If you have diabetes, be sure to keep your blood sugar levels controlled so you are less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. If you have any symptoms mentioned above or suspect you may be at risk, contact your eye doctor as soon as possible. Routine eye exams can help catch an eye condition early on, before it becomes advanced.