Diabetic Retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes mellitus, which can eventually lead to blindness. There are two types of Diabetic Retinopathy, non-proliferative and proliferative.
Non-proliferative is an early form in which the doctor may see bleeding or leaking of the blood vessels in the retina. The doctor may also see macular edema or swelling in the central vision area of the retina, this will cause blurred or distorted vision.
Proliferative is a more advanced form in which the eye becomes starved of oxygen resulting in the eye growing new blood vessels (neovascularization).
This is dangerous and can cause significant vision loss. During a dilated eye exam, the doctor evaluates the retina for these changes and may take photos to monitor the changes more closely.
Diabetic Retinopathy has no early warning signs. Changes in the retina may be found years before they would affect vision. Diabetic Retinopathy affects up to 80% of patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more.
For this reason, it is essential that all diabetic patients have a dilated eye examination at least once a year. If you are due for your dilated eye examination, please call to make an appointment today.