Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that affects individuals with diabetes, potentially leading to vision loss and blindness. Understanding the causes, symptoms, available treatments, and strategies to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy is crucial for managing this condition effectively. Before you visit Monterey Bay Eye Center in Monterey, CA, for treatment, learn more about diabetic retinopathy below:


What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that targets the blood vessels in the retina and can progressively impair vision. Regular comprehensive dilated eye exams are essential for early detection.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy may not display noticeable symptoms. However, individuals may experience vision changes, such as difficulty reading or seeing objects at a distance, as the condition progresses. Advanced stages may involve the appearance of dark, floating spots or streaks resembling cobwebs due to blood flowing into the vitreous. You may also experience other symptoms, such as the following:

  • Blurry vision
  • Intermittent vision changes
  • Spots in your field of vision
  • Vision worsening at night
  • Faded colors
  • Gradual vision loss

Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

The primary cause of diabetic retinopathy is elevated blood sugar levels resulting from diabetes. When there is prolonged exposure to high blood sugar, this can damage the retina over time. Specifically, tiny blood vessels that supply the retina may become blocked, leading to fluid leakage or bleeding. New blood vessels form to compensate for these blockages, but they are often fragile and prone to leakage or bleeding.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy depend on the severity and stage of the condition. Closely monitoring blood sugar and blood pressure levels is a fundamental approach to preventing vision loss. Laser treatments, such as photocoagulation or eye surgery, may be recommended to address specific complications associated with diabetic retinopathy.

Types of Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diabetic retinopathy is categorized into two main types: nonproliferative retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy. In nonproliferative retinopathy, the small blood vessels in the back of the eye become inflamed and swollen. Over time, these vessels develop into a pouch that disrupts blood supply to the retina. Proliferative retinopathy, on the other hand, involves new blood vessels that grow and replace the damaged ones. However, these newly formed vessels are fragile and insufficient in providing adequate blood flow to the retina.

Reducing the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy

Managing diabetes effectively is essential in reducing the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and treatment are also important for managing diabetic retinopathy. Regular comprehensive dilated eye exams help our ophthalmologist monitor your condition.

Contact us for Treatment Today

Our team at Monterrey Bay Eye Center in Monterrey, CA, can provide you with treatment that will help slow down the progression of any diabetic eye diseases and preserve your vision. To learn about our treatment options or to schedule and appointment, call us at 831.372.1500 today.

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