What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. It occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. It can cause vision loss.
What is the Retina?
The retina is a light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. When light enters the eye, the retina changes the light into nerve signals. The retina the nerve signals along the optic nerve to the brain. Without a retina, the eye cannot communicate with the brain, making vision impossible.
Who is at Risk for Developing Diabetic Retinopathy?
Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, but not all diabetics do develop it.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
The most common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are:
Can Diabetic Retinopathy be Prevented?
Yes. You can decrease your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by:
Can Diabetic Retinopathy be Treated?
Yes. If diabetic retinopathy is detected in the early stages, treatment will help minimize the chance of developing substantial vision loss. Early detection can be made possible via a dilated eye exam at least once a year.
Treatment options will depend on the severity and the type of eye problems the patient is experiencing.
The most common treatments for diabetic retinopathy are:
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