Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. The retina is a nerve layer at the back of the eye that sends images to your brain. When blood vessels in the retina are damaged, they may leak fluid or blood. This can blur or distort your vision.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness among adults in the United States. People with untreated diabetes are 25 times more at risk for blindness than the general population. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Spots or floaters in your field of vision
- Blurred vision
- A dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
- Difficulty seeing well at night
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. That is why Dr. Mosley recommends that diabetics have a comprehensive eye exam once a year. Early detection and the current technologies and treatments can limit the potential for significant vision loss.
Often times, there is no treatment necessary for early diabetic damage. However, in later stages of the problem injections, laser treatments, and sometimes surgical intervention are required to stabilize your visions.