Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. The longer you or a loved has had diabetes, the greater the risk of vision loss. In its early stages, diabetes may only cause mild vision fluctuation. Over time, high blood sugars can damage the fine blood vessels (capillaries) in the retina causing bleeding, swelling (edema), and even blinding retinal detachments.
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy refers to changes in the retina including edema, microaneurysms, and hemorrhage. It is usually graded as mild, moderate, or severe.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a condition where irregular new blood vessels grow along the surface of the retina. These vessels may bleed and contract causing bleeding into the substance of the eye (vitreous hemorrhage) and retinal detachments. Both conditions can cause vision loss.
Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a specific condition in which swelling is observed in the most sensitive, central part of the retina called the macula.
Management of diabetic eye disease ranges from recommendations for improved control of blood sugars to injections into the eye to laser or surgery. To determine which treatment is right for you, please reach out to us.