What You Should Know About Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have diabetes, your body tends to become vulnerable to various health conditions. Your eyes are not exempt; that is why diabetes specialists always insist that you should take extra precautions with matters regarding your health. You could suffer from an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy.
It is a disease that targets the blood vessels in the backside of your eye known as the retina. That is where the image of what you are looking at is formed so that you can see. If your retina is affected, it means that you won't be able to form any image, thus you won't be able to see.
Getting into Specifics
Diabetic individuals are mostly affected by the level of blood sugar in their bodies. If there is excess sugar in your body, it can affect your blood vessels by creating blockages. Since the blood vessels in your eye are small and narrow, a blockage can occur fast. The blockage leads to excess pressure that can even tear the blood vessels, leading to leakage or bleeding.
If you are at the stage of blocked eye blood vessels, you may be diagnosed with glaucoma. If the blockage leads to bleeding or leakage, you are diagnosed with diabetic macular Edema, abbreviated as DME. This goes to show that you can be diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, but your doctor might also inform you that you are also suffering from glaucoma or DME.
Signs That You Might Be Having Diabetic Retinopathy
The bad thing about diabetic retinopathy is that you won't notice early signs. Symptoms start showing themselves when the blockage is severe enough to start causing problems. That said, always look out for any visual cloudiness, difficulty in reading or seeing, blurry vision, floating streaks or spots, etc. These symptoms might not always mean you have diabetic retinopathy; they might even clear after some time. Regardless, visit your optometrist or cataract doctor for confirmation; better to be safe than sorry.
You should know that there is a difference between an optometrist and a cataract doctor. An optometrist cannot perform surgery, but he or she can diagnose you. If the optometrist finds that you have an eye condition that requires surgery or is beyond his or her qualification, you will get referred to an ophthalmologist or cataract doctor.
Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
Early stages are always easier to treat or manage because they require less invasive treatment methods. If you are in the late stages, you might need injections, laser treatment, surgery, etc.