Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused in the blood vessels of the retina. Basically, diabetes is a disease of blood vessels. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But overtime, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
What can you do?
Controlling your blood sugar level is extremely important. Research has shown that patients who have maintained good hemoglobin A1C levels have delayed onset and have slower progression of the eye disease. By having regular dilated eye exams, diabetic changes can be detected and treated to minimize eye damage.