An ocular manifestation of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is the result of weakening on the blood vessels within the lining of the inner eye, called the retina, and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.
Vision symptoms are usually rare in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, however, intermittent blur and seeing spots in the vision can be warning signs. Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and being diabetic for ten years or more. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Annual eye exams are strongly recommended for all diabetic patients. At The Eye & Laser Center, we use retinal photography methods to detect retinal blood vessel problems and to monitor changes from exam to exam. There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and your doctor can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Watch the video to learn more. If you have diabetes and are concerned about diabetic retinopathy, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. Be sure to include diabetes on your patient history form.