posted: Jul. 28, 2022.
Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive eye disease that can lead to vision loss. It occurs when diabetes damages the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. You can learn the four stages of diabetic retinopathy from our experienced optometrist at Pflugerville Vision Care.
Eye exams can detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy. In its early stages, tiny blood vessels in the retina begin to leak fluid or bleed. These symptoms are called mild nonproliferative or background retinopathy. These changes usually don’t affect vision. However, your eye health will improve if your blood sugar is well-controlled at this stage.
As diabetic retinopathy progresses, more and more abnormal blood vessels form in the retina. These new vessels are fragile and can easily leak fluid or bleed. But they don’t always cause vision loss. Your eye health will improve if you work with an optometrist who can monitor your condition and keep your blood sugar well-controlled.
In its advanced stage, called severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, the retina is deprived of oxygen. This deprivation triggers the growth of more abnormal blood vessels. These new vessels are fragile and can easily leak fluid or bleed. But they don’t always cause vision loss. Your eye health will improve if you work with an optometrist who can monitor your condition and keep your blood sugar well-controlled. Early disease detection can also help prevent severe vision loss.
The most advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy. New blood vessels grow on the retina’s surface and in the vitreous at this stage. The vitreous is the jelly-like substance that fills the inside of your eye. These new vessels are fragile and can easily leak fluid or bleed. As a result, they can cause severe vision problems, including blindness. Therefore, your diabetic eye needs regular eye exams, so an optometrist can detect this condition early and refer you to a retina specialist for treatment.
Treat Your Diabetic Eye Today through Early Disease Detection
If you have diabetes, you must get comprehensive eye exams at least once a year. Our experienced optometrist at Pflugerville Vision Care can help protect your vision. Call us today at (512) 251-4099 to schedule an appointment.