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What Is Diabetic Retinopathy? A Quick Guide For Those Unfamiliar

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There are many unfortunate side effects that come with having diabetes, and these can present themselves all over the body. Diabetic retinopathy is one of these side effects that occur in people who have diabetes and it affects the eyes. If left alone and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can and most likely will progress to a stage where you are blind. However, there are many treatment options before you get to that stage. If you feel that the following symptoms apply to you, make sure to see your nearest eye specialist as soon as you possibly can. 

What Is It?

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where, like with many diabetes-related conditions, the blood vessels to the very sensitive areas at the back of your eyes are damaged. These blood vessels are vital to your vision, and when they start to become impaired, your vision begins to get affected as well. From the loss of colour to blind spots in your vision, there are a lot of obvious and scary symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes and begin to notice anything strange or different with your vision at all, then there is quite a good chance it could be diabetic retinopathy and you should go to your local eye specialist for treatment.

Getting A Diagnosis

The first step in treatment is, of course, actually getting a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. Always mention to your medical health specialist that you are diabetic when getting an eye exam, as this may cause them to look more closely for diabetic retinopathy. Most of the time, diabetic retinopathy will be picked up during routine eye exams, but if you feel worried during the rest of the year, then you can always schedule an appointment to get an expert opinion right away. From there, you will either be cleared or given the diagnosis you thought you might hear and you can begin with the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. 


The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is to reduce the effects of your diabetes entirely, so that will be the first thing all medical experts advise. To limit the damage in your eyes from diabetic retinopathy, your medical expert might advise you to have one of several types of surgery. Often the first type of surgery is done with a laser which painlessly stops the blood vessels from continuing to affect the sensitive areas of your eye. If this does not work, then you may need a vitrectomy so that the problem veins and scar tissue can be taken out completely. Everyone responds differently, but most of the time these surgeries are successful and diabetic retinopathy will cease to be a problem.

To learn more about diabetic retinopathy, talk to an eye doctor.