Diabetes

What is diabetic retinopathy?
Other types of diabetic eye disease 
What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
What other problems can diabetic retinopathy cause?

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to other serious eye conditions: 

  • Diabetic macular edema-This happens when blood vessels in the retina leak fluid, causing swelling in the macula, the area where central vision is sharpest. Vision will become blurry because of the extra fluid in your macula.  

  • Neovascular glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy can cause abnormal blood vessels to grow out of the retina and block fluid from draining out of the eye. This causes a type of glaucoma that is painful and sight threatening if not corrected.

  • Retinal detachment. Diabetic retinopathy can cause scars to form in the back of your eye. When the scars pull your retina away from the back of your eye, it’s called tractional retinal detachment

Am I at risk for diabetic retinopathy?

Anyone with any kind of diabetes can get diabetic retinopathy — including people with type 1, type 2, and diabetes that can develop during pregnancy.   

Your risk increases the longer you have diabetes. You can lower your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by controlling your diabetes.  

What causes diabetic retinopathy?
The high sugar damages tiny blood vessels causing them to be blocked, leak fluid or bleed. To make up for these blocked blood vessels, your eyes then grow new blood vessels that don’t work well. These new blood vessels can leak or bleed easily. 
How will my eye doctor check for diabetic retinopathy?

 Dilated Exams with Photographs and OCT of the retina are used to monitor the retina.

What can I do to prevent diabetic retinopathy?

Managing your diabetes is the best way to lower your risk of diabetic retinopathy. That means keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. You can do this by getting regular physical activity, eating healthy, and carefully following your doctor’s instructions for your insulin or other diabetes medicines.  

A special test called an A1c test shows your average blood sugar level over a 3-month period. Keeping it a 6.0 or below is best.

Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol along with diabetes increases your risk for diabetic retinopathy. Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol can help lower your risk for vision loss.

What’s the treatment for diabetic retinopathy and DME?

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