Diabetic retinopathy, an eye problem which is often associated with diabetes, is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. This disease damages the blood vessels in the retina, the nerve tissue that helps your brain to create images and see.
Blurry vision or temporary blindness occurs when the blood vessels weaken, bulge, and leak fluid into the surrounding tissue. The resulting swelling is called macular edema. Irregular blood vessel growth may occur on the retina and block vision, as well.
The retina may eventually detach from the eye and lead to permanent blindness. If detected and treated early, vision loss can be prevented. It’s crucial to receive regular eye exams as a matter of not only preventative healthcare, but also maintaining your vision.
Retinal damage occurs slowly; the small blood vessels in your eyes are easily damaged. High blood glucose levels, as well as high blood pressure, as occurs with diabetes, affects these blood vessels.
The vessels will first begin to swell and grow weaker. Initially, you most likely will not notice any affect on your vision. This is why an eye exam is so important, it will help to detect small changes before they turn into bigger problems.
New blood vessels may grow and leak blood into your eye. Light will have a harder time reaching your retina, and you may begin to see spots or darkness. You may need surgery to remove the leaking blood from your retina.
The swollen and weakened blood vessels will form scar tissue and begin to detach the retina from the eye. If this is occuring, you may have vision abnormalities such as floating spots or lights. You may begin to feel as though a “curtain” has been pulled over your eyes. If left untreated, you may lose your vision, so it’s essential to receive regular eye care!
For more information on diabetic retinopathy, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (361) 993-7778!