Diabetic Retinopathy is a serious eye condition that is the leading cause of adult blindness in north america. While Diabetes is a requirement for Diabetic Retinopathy to manifest itself, not all diabetics will experience Retinopathy due to their diabetic conditions. Retinopathy affects both men and women of all ages, but is more well known to affect those of older age and advanced diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy is a growing disease, that has increased over the years as Diabetes has become a much more common disease due largely to obesity.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by reasons mostly relating to diabetic conditions. These conditions either cause blood vessels in the eye to swell or leak, or for the eye to grow new harmful blood vessels in the retina, both of which cause blurring and gradual vision loss.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Watching out for Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms is important for anybody who has been diagnosed with diabetes. The most common symptoms that occur early on are blurred vision and eye floaters. Despite this, early Diabetic Retinopathy is not painful, and many may not know about the disease until it’s already progressed to damaging their vision. Because of this, it’s important for those with Diabetes to take frequent eye exams, as eye doctors can spot Diabetic Retinopathy before symptoms become prevalent.
Treatment and Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy
It has been shown that people who regulate their diabetes better and control their blood sugar have a lower risk of developing Retinopathy due to diabetic conditions.
For advanced Diabetic Retinopathy, laser surgery has been developed that can save one’s vision by slowing or stopping the advance of blood vessel development. Laser surgery for retinopathy does however have side effects, including reduced vision range, and an occasional decrease in color and night vision.