When your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it can’t respond properly to this hormone, you may develop diabetes. This causes sugars to stay in your bloodstream, and that may lead to various organ complications, such as diabetic retinopathy.
Guilford Eye Center, your leading provider of quality eyeglasses and other eye care services, explains how diabetes affects your eyesight.
How It Happens
The more glucose your blood contains, the thicker it gets. This can slow down the blood that flows to your eyes, reducing the oxygen and nutrient delivery to your retina. Without immediate management, this may lead to diabetic retinopathy that may cause central vision irregularities.
Stages and Corresponding Manifestations
Diabetic retinopathy symptoms can differ depending on its stage. Your eye doctor shares that you may not notice any visual changes during the early phase or non-proliferative stage. As the condition progresses, however, your retinal blood vessel walls may weaken. When this happens, blood and fluid can leak into the macula, causing it to swell.
During the advanced stage, your eyes develop new blood vessels to compensate for the reduced blood flow, hence the term “proliferative phase”. These new blood vessels, however, are naturally fragile, causing them to break easily. Blood may deposit in your eyes, which you may see as tiny spots across your visual field.
Our Suggested Treatment
Diabetic retinopathy management aims to stop or at least slow down the disease’s progression. Since this condition is asymptomatic, one of the most important things you should do is to regularly have an eye exam. This is especially necessary if you or any of your family members are diabetic.
Another key strategy is controlling your blood glucose levels. Always take your prescribed medications as instructed by your doctor. For advanced diabetic retinopathy, we may advise undergoing a laser treatment known as photocoagulation to stop blood and fluid leaks to your retina.
For more information about diabetic retinopathy, call us at (336) 387-6777. You may also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Greensboro and the surrounding North Carolina areas.