DIABETIC RETINOPATHY: CAUSES AND TREATMENTS
Progression And Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy
The eye is full of delicate blood vessels that carry oxygen, blood and nourishment to the eye. If you suffer from elevated blood sugar for a prolonged period of time, these vessels get irreversibly damaged. While your eye can regenerate the vessels, they will be weak, leak or hemorrhage easily.
This leads to the four stages of diabetic retinopathy:
- Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy - appearance of small red dots on the blood vessels in your eye retina
- Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy - blockage of some of the blood vessels nourishing the retina
- Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy - increased blockage of retinal blood vessels, which leads to diminished blood supply to the retina
- Proliferative Retinopathy - a lack of blood supply triggers growth of new, but abnormal blood vessels for nourishment of the retina.
As blood pools on the retina, you will experience blurred or darkened vision, sudden and unpredictable vision loss and daily changes in visual function. Treatment is necessary at this point in the disease.
Early detection is your best defense against diabetic retinopathy. Dilated exams including retinal photos are critical to early detection. When diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed early, treatment plans, including laser procedures and other surgeries, have proven increasingly effective in preserving vision.
The eye doctors at Broome Optical urge frequent monitoring of all diabetic patients. Schedule a thorough eye exam annually.