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All About Diabetic Retinopathy

Even many individuals with the disease are not informed that diabetes increases the chances vision threatening eye damage. Diabetes is the main cause of total vision loss in individuals between 20 and 74 according to recent studies by the National Institute of Health. One of the risks of diabetes is retinal damage caused by an increase in pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most serious complications of the disease and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.

Diabetic retinopathy can be unnoticed until considerable damage is done. When the pressure in the retinal blood vessels increases they begin to leak causing permanent damage to the retina. This damage will result in vision loss and when not treated, blindness.

Warning signs of diabetic retinopathy include any kind of vision problems such as fluctuations, spots, shadows, double or blurred vision or pain. Diabetics are also at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma due to the strain it causes on the eyes.

With early diagnosis and treatment, we can reduce loss of vision. In addition to making sure to schedule a regular eye exam once a year if you are diabetic, controlling your glucose levels is crucial to your eye health.

If you or a loved one is diabetic, be sure you are informed about the risks of diabetic eye disease and speak to your optometrist to discuss questions or concerns. It could mean the difference between a life of sight and one of darkness.